Tylenol Linked to Asthma and Eczema in Children

September 12, 2010

A new study has found a dose-related association between current acetaminophen use by adolescents and their experiences with symptoms of asthma. Although researchers said that “it is not possible” to prove this is a cause and effect link, the study was quite large, involving 360,000 adolescents of 13 to 14 years of age in 50 countries. The subjects were surveyed about their use within the last year, of acetaminophen as well as their symptoms of asthma. Those who used the drug at least once a year showed a 40 percent greater risk of asthma; and those who used acetaminophen at least once a month had a 150 percent higher risk of asthmatic symptoms. Rhinoconjunctivitis – an inflammation of the covering of the white of the eye, combined with a stuffy nose – and eczema were also associated with recent use of the drug. The study team suggested that “controlled trials are now urgently required to investigate this relationship further.” This study was released August 13, 2010 but will not be published until a future issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Eczema and asthma often go hand in hand.  It is due time that we acknowledge this link and caution against freely using Tylenol to manage our children’s ailments. Asthma and eczema tend to be chronic conditions, and the immediate relief for children (and their parents) that Tylenol can bring, does not match the long term negative consequences. Naturopathic Medical Doctors often run lab tests to identify food allergies and nutrients deficiencies that cause headaches, frequent colds, asthma and eczema, and are usually quite successful in preventing and treating these conditions in children.

In health,

-Dr. Gina



New Information on the Treatment of Ear Infections

June 30, 2010

A research review reported in the November 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 2010;304:2161-2169) revealed that there is little consensus among doctors on how to diagnose and treat ear infections in children. Acute Otitis Media (a highly prevalent type of ear infection) is the most common condition for which antibiotics are prescribed for US children. However, there is NO data available on the long term effects of antibiotic therapy in children!  Further, there is  a popular vaccine used, called PCV7, and the research shows that while it somewhat reduces the prevalence of one type of bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, it INCREASES the prevalence of a major Flu virus, Haemophilus influenzae. Two of the most common causes of childhood ear infections that we diagnose and treat at our medical practice are food allergies and low levels of nutrients that are essential for healthy immune function.  A blood test done and interpreted correctly will reveal immediate and delayed food allergies and nutrient deficiencies related to immune function.  If you or your child have a history of long term antibiotic use, it also becomes critical to supplement with a high quality probiotic, at one to two capsules per day. In conversation with a wise woman in the desert last week, we contemplated the value of common sense in the practice of medicine.  It makes sense that diet and nutrition play an important role in how well a child’s immune system will function.   If you start there, the need for antibiotic therapy diminishes. In health, -Dr. G


Vitamin D Deficiency Causes Teen Health Challenges

March 16, 2009

A new study done at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals even more data on the association between Vitamin D deficiency and health. In this case, researchers studied approximately 3,600 boys and girls ages 12 to 19 who took part in a government health survey from 2001 to 2004.

The teenage boys and girls with the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their blood were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure and high blood sugar.  Even more alarming, the teens with the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their blood were four times as likely to develop metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by a triad of conditions, namely high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels and high cholesterol, that are associated with diabetes and heart disease.  Metabolic syndrome patients also tend to store fat around their midsection.  This condition is closely related to stress and Sickness Syndrome.   Most of the patients that I treat for Sickness Syndrome Depression and stress-related illness inevitably have low levels of vitamin D in their blood.  This makes sense given that a key source for vitamin D is exposure to the sun, and lack of exposure to the sun will, in many people, lead to depression and inflammation.

In our office, we test the blood for Vitamin D3, which is the active form of the vitamin.  And oftentimes if a patient has inflammation, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or Sickness Syndrome, then Vitamin D3 testing and treatment becomes part of their path to optimal health.

If this is a topic of interest to you, please read previous posts on vitamin D3.

In health,

Dr. Gina


PBS Documentary on Naturopathic Medicine

January 12, 2009


PBS TO AIR DOCUMENTARY FOCUSING ON NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE FEATURING DR. GINA NICK

Windsor Broadcast Productions, well known for its long running PBS series American Health Journal is producing a documentary focusing on Naturopathic Medicine. The documentary will be comprised of seven 30 minute segments on such topics as Mental Health, Adult Allergies, ADD & ADHA. The documentary will initially run on PBS in the greater Orange County, California area sometime in March 2009 and is expected to reach a nationwide audience later in the year.herbs2

One of the segments features Dr. Gina Nick and her naturopathic approach to dealing with Chronic Pain.

Some of the key messages highlighted throughout the series are:

* Naturopathic Doctors are trustworthy, credible, and a qualified choice for healthcare

* Naturopathic medicine offers a continuum of care

* Naturopathic medicine is the “new norm” for health and healthcare

* Naturopathic doctors believe in the power of the human being to regain greater health

Dr. Nick and LTP Natural Medical Center specialize in the prevention of dis-ease, optimizing overall health and providing a sense of well being.

Knowledge is power. LTP Natural Medical Center hopes you will tune-in to this very exciting documentary series and empower yourself with knowledge about the natural approach to your health.


A Quality Naturopathic Infant Formula

November 18, 2008

When it comes to feeding a newborn, few will argue that breast milk is best.  However, there are times when this is not possible or not indicated.  There are also higher levels of toxic chemicals in breast milk, and the impact of these toxic chemicals on the development of a breast-fed child is unknown.  Chemicals such as the organochlorine pesticide DDT, dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzfurans, and polychlorinated biphenyls all accumulate in breast milk. Mothers can limit exposure of these chemicals to their nursing baby by avoiding dry cleaners and not wearing clothes that are dry cleaned,  and limiting their intake of red meat, dairy (such as yogurt, cow’s milk and cheese), and fish, and eating a diet rich in organic fresh fruits and vegetables and safer proteins like tempeh, turkey and organic chicken and eggs.

Following is a naturopathic infant formula recipe that I use with my patients, particularly those that are currently formula fed and are presenting with digestive and skin-related conditions. Simply switching to this formula oftentimes resolves colic and skin rashes of unknown origin.

In the spirit of providing change for our children’s lives,

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***LTP Natural Medical Center’s Infant Goats Milk Formula using MEYENBERG Instant POWDERED GOAT MILK***
6 Scoops Powdered Goat Milk (84 grams)
36 oz Water
6.5 Tbs. Rice Syrup
1 capsule of LTP Probiotic Blend
1 tablespoon of Coconut Milk Powder

As baby matures during its first year, gradually increase goat milk powder to 8 scoops. Discontinue adding rice syrup (carbohydrates).

***Supplement with ChildLife Essential’s Liquid Multi Vitamin Mineral Supplement (or another high quality infant liquid multivitamin mineral supplement with vitamin D3).

Dosage Schedule:

  • Up to 6 months of age: ½ teaspoon per day
  • Up to 1 year of age: 1 teaspoon per day
  • Ages 1 to 4 years: 1-2 teaspoons per day
  • Ages 4 to 12 years: 2-3 teaspoons per day

Copyright 2008. Dr. Gina L. Nick. All rights reserved.


Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise

November 17, 2008

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Food allergies are on the rise in the US, and are highly prevalent in children.  The most common allergies that I see in my practice are delayed food hypersensitivity reactions which means that you could eat a suspect food one day and not experience symptoms from that food for 48 hours.  Eggs, pasteurized cow’s milk products (e.g. pasteurized cheese, yogurt, milk derived from cows)  wheat, and shellfish are among the most common foods that cause reactions in the body. These food allergies can cause or aggravate asthma symptoms, susceptibility to colds and the flu, mood disorders including depression, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder, and chronic conditions including Autism Spectrum Disorder, arthritis, joint pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and eczema.

There are several ways to determine if you have a food allergy.  The first way is a little complicated but involves an elimination diet where you remove all traces of the most common food allergens from your diet. Then, over time, you reintroduce one of those foods at a time and note if you experience symptoms. I highly recommend working with a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor if you are interested in treating yourself or your child for food allergies.

I test the blood for food allergies and find that this is an accurate, more specific, and simpler way to know what foods to avoid.

So why are food allergies on the rise?  One reason is that we are living in a more sterile environment then ever before. The overuse of disinfectants, the overuse of antibiotics when they are not really necessary, and the tendency to work and study indoors in rather sterile environments where there is limited exposure to sunlight (a natural disinfectant) are some of the reasons why children’s immune systems are not up to par.  Food allergies tend to be caused by an imbalance in immune function.

Some natural ways to balance out immune function are to get tested for food allergies and avoid them for 3-6 months, get your blood tested for vitamin A and vitamin D3 and supplement these nutrients if necessary, and take a high quality probiotic on a regular basis to keep the healthy bacteria present in your gut.  Other options to consider that I often use in practice to boost immune function include Oregacillin, Allimed, and Berry Well Immune Support. I also like the Candida Cleanse Pack which treats candida but also serves as a powerful immune supportive protocol, and for optimal foundational support for our children I recommend the Children’s Foundation Pack.

In health,

Dr. G


FDA Urged to Recall Over-the-Counter Children’s Cough & Cold Medicines

October 3, 2008

Pediatricians are urging the Food and Drug Administration to recall cough and cold medications sold over the counter that are marketed to children under 6 years of age.  The evidence shows that these medicines are not effective and can actually be harmful to children.  According to market research firm Nielson Co., families spend at least $286 million dollar per year on these questionable products.

Big business need not get in the way of protecting the health and well-being of children who depend upon adults for their care.

If you would like to try a natural and effective way to boost your child’s immune system, I use and recommend the following for my patients: Berry Well Immune Support, Coconut Milk Powder with Probiotic Blend and HP Multi-Vitamin Complex.

Some capsule supplements, such as Probiotic Blend and HP Multi-Vitamin Complex, mentioned above, can be added by simply opening the capsules and empty the powder into your child’s favorite beverage.  For strong immune support I use Oregacillin and Allimed.

In health,

Dr. Gina


Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

September 23, 2008

There is a new coalition that has been formed that is committed to educating brides-to-be about the importance of nutrition for moms, even before they get pregnant.  The “Commitment Project” is an initiative designed to encourage brides-to-be to make a vow of health to their future children.  They commit to taking a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, an essential B-vitamin that helps build and maintain healthy cells, particularly in developing fetuses.

This is a true gift to our future generation who will need all of the support they can get, as they face a world with more environmental toxins, less-nutritious food, and more stress.  Nutrition during pregnancy makes a huge difference in the health and vitality of infants.  Things like Vitamin D, folic acid and a comprehensive multi are powerful supporters of a healthy pregnancy, for mom and baby.

In my medical practice, women who are thinking about getting pregnant or are already pregnant receive a foundational nutrition plan that includes high quality essential fats, prenatal vitamins, vitamin D3, coconut power (for immune support), quality protein and chlorophyll-rich greens.

Healthy children will make for a healthier planet.

Dr. G


Healthy Meals Equal Better Grades in School

August 28, 2008

One of the most important components to children functioning at their best in school and on the playground is proper nutrition.  The Washington Post just reported on this subject, offering valuable tips and resources  to ensure that your child gets the nutrition he/she needs. Children who eat healthy, satisfying dinners sleep better, and are more alert the following morning. And children who eat a balanced nourishing breakfast and lunch have better neurotransmitter activity and improved concentration during the day.  Supplementation is also an important option to consider in children who are not getting the nutrition their brain and body need, particularly if they are challenged with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In health,

Dr. Gina


The Gluten-Free Diet Fad?

August 19, 2008

There is a lot more talk out there these days about the dangers of gluten.  Some people have full blown celiac disease, where their body can be severely damaged by ingesting gluten. Others have a mild, moderate or severe intolerance to gluten and gliadin in their diet.  At LTP Natural Medical Center I test patients for gluten intolerance through an IgG blood test that looks for specific foods that the body mounts an immune response to.  When those foods are eliminated from the diet, patients feel better. And gluten is often on the list.  So while some skeptics will say that gluten-free is just a fad, I do not agree.  This is a very real condition, even for patients not diagnosed with celiac disease.  Going deeper, however, I find that if we focus on testing for, and repairing the integrity of the digestive tract, these food intolerance’s fall away.  So if we want to go to the root cause, I would say compromised digestion is the place to look.

-Dr. Gina


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