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 This study was released August 13, 2010 but will not be published until a future issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.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



Naturopathic Medicine Can Head Off Dementia

September 8, 2010

A new study has determined the individual percentages by which a variety of lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of dementia and suggests that these interventions – in the absence of a new treatment for the mind-robbing disease – are likely to have the greatest impact on reducing dementia levels in the future. The study assessed previously identified risk factors such as depression, diet, alcohol consumption, educational level and vascular factors, which include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Results found that three changes together – eliminating depression and diabetes and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption – reduced dementia risk by a full 21 percent. Depression alone accounted for a 10 percent risk. Higher education was linked to an 18 percent lower risk. To illustrate the extent of these factors, the genetic tendency towards dementia accounts for seven percent of cases. The study was released August 5, 2010 and will be published in the British Medical Journal. But the journal already has made the full-text version of this important study available to the public, online without the usual requirement of a journal subscription or access fee.

Naturopathic Medicine is an effective approach to preventing and reversing depression and type two diabetes. Paired with diet ad lifestyle recommendations that are based on your unique constitution, licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors have the tools to prevent and halt the progression of Dementia, even in the face of genetic predisposition. That offers true hope to millions of people!  It is time for Naturopathic Medicine, practiced by licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors, to enter the mainstream and offer simple, genuine solutions to our healthcare crisis worldwide.

In health,

Dr. Gina Cushman


Was your Child Mislabeled with ADHD?

August 18, 2010

A new study released by Michigan State University found that nearly 1 million children have been misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  The reason, the study found, was that kids who are youngest in their grades have a 60% greater chance of being diagnosed with ADHD. Nothing to do with brain chemistry, or the genuine need for medications.  Simply due to their age. The details of this study were just published in USA Today.

There are beneficial naturopathic treatments for those labeled with ADHD. The beauty of Naturopathic Medicine is that doctors are treating the individual. Even if your child was diagnosed with ADHD, a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor will work on the underlying cause of the behavioral challenges and not simply treat the label your child was given by writing a script for Ritalin or other popular ADHD medication.  This individualized treatment helps to prevent misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatments with unknown long-term effects to a child’s developing brain and nervous system. Let’s focus on what is in the best interest of the children, now and in the future.  Finding a doctor who takes the time to get to know your child, run appropriate lab tests to pinpoint the imbalances, and is focused on addressing the underlying cause of your child’s behavioral challenges is a reasonable place to start.

Yours in health,

Dr. G


Your Voice Was Heard! McCain Withdraws Support of Dangerous Supplement Bill

March 8, 2010

Supplement Safety Act Loses Senator Support

Thank you to those who took action and contacted Senator McCain to request that he reconsider supporting his new bill that threatened to block your access to natural medicines. According to Alliance for Natural Health USA, Senator McCain was embarrassed by an ad they placed, that pointed out that he was misrepresenting and did not seem to understand his own bill. McCain met with Senator Orin Hatch, who is a strong supporter of natural medicine, and shortly thereafter news came that he was withdrawing his support of the Dietary Supplement Safety Act.

A word of caution…it is likely that another, modified version of this Bill creeps up and we will be watching for this.  In the meantime, I want to extend my gratitude to those of you that were willing to take action and make your voice heard. It is the ONLY way we are going to see genuine, lasting change in our healthcare system.

Let’s start making the  healthcare needs of the people, and of  the future generations known. What I am seeing in practice is that the newest generation is suffering from unhealthy habits of at least the past two generations (e.g. poor diet, lack of exercise, more stress, exposure to industrial chemicals and pesticides, synthetic hormones, introduction of more chemicals in the food supply).

This means that genetically,  they are more vulnerable to chronic illness, which is an area of healthcare where our current system fails to provide real solutions.

These children are much more sensitive to the effects of poor diet, chemicals in the environment, and high potency medications.  They will not  benefit from access to the current system of healthcare that is heavily focused on prescription medications and the suppression of symptoms. The younger generation, and future generations will be seeking to address the root cause of their symptoms-be it mental, emotional and/or physical.

It is time to design a new healthcare bill, where the focus is on optimal health, the principles and practice of naturopathic medicine, treating the cause rather then masking the symptoms, detoxification, and working with and respecting the body’s innate ability to heal itself, given the proper support.

In health,

Dr. G


Naturopathic Options for the Flu

September 29, 2009
Child receiving Flu Shot

Child Receiving Flu Shot

Many patients are expressing concern over the Swine Flu, and asking whether or not to get vaccinated.  My recommendation is to avoid vaccination, due to a lack of certainty as to the new vaccine’s effectiveness, and more importantly, the short and long term risks associated with the vaccine.  It has not been sufficiently tested, and there is well justified concern as to its safety in humans.  In the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, Homeopathic medicine became the treatment of choice for many physicians, as it proved to be highly effective, with little to no incidence of death among those patients treated with homeopathic medicines as compared to pharmaceutical preparations. In 1921 the American Institute of Homeopathy documented the effects of homeopathic medicine on treating the Spanish flu, which killed over 40 million people worldwide.  In that study, the death rate among 24,000 flu cases treated through conventional medicine was 28.2 percent while the death rate among 26,000 flu cases treated exclusively using homeopathic medicine was 1.05 percent. Among the most effective homeopathic remedies at the time, and throughout history, for treating the flu have been Gelsemium, Influenzinum (which is best used as a preventive medicine- one dose per week for four weeks beginning in October), and Oscillococcinum.  In practice, Engystol and Gripp Heel by the German homeopathic medical company BHI/HEEL are also clinically effective for flu prevention and treatment.

In addition to homeopathic medicine, I recommend the following:

  • Get your Vitamin D3 levels tested through blood work and take enough Vitamin D3 to keep your levels around 60 ng/mL
  • Take probiotics. I recommend lab testing to determine which probiotic strains will work best for your system.
  • Avoid sugar, fried foods, hydrogenated oils, and all processed food.  Stick with whole, fresh organic produce and lean protein sources.
  • Avoid all sodas, and make water your drink of choice. 
  • Ideally chose a high pH source of charged water such as Kangen/Enagic 9.5pH water.  We use this water filtration system at LTP Natural Medical Center and for those of you who are local, you can stop by to test it out. You can use Distributor # 7193577 if you chose to purchase a unit online for your home or office.
  • Keep moving- make sure you are getting exercise at least 4-5 times per week for at least 30 minutes.

An article was just published in the San Fransisco Chronicle that goes into more detail on the treatment and prevention of the Flu using Naturopathic Medicine. Click here to read the article.

In health,

Dr. Gina


Organic Produce Under Attack

August 20, 2009

Seattle Farmers MarketA recent review by the UK Foods Standards Agency came out claiming that organic foods are no better than the less expensive conventionally grown foods.   A closer look at that review reveals some truths underlying the growing media attention and debate over whether or not organic foods are worth the extra buck. I am re-printing an excellent post on this topic  by Tom Philpott who farms and cooks at Maverick Farms, a sustainable-agriculture nonprofit and small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

One of the key messages I received while researching this topic is that organic foods consistently contain a higher level of tertiary, phytochemicals then conventionally grown foods. These phytochemicals (e.g. resveratrol, chlorophyll, glucosinolates) hold as much, if not more promise for preventing and treating disease then the basic nutritional compounds that are used to test the benefit of one food over another.

In health,

Dr. Gina

A bit of nitrogen with those veggies?

Tom Philpott

A recent literature review by the U.K. Food Standards Agency concluded that organic foods offer no nutritional advantages to ones grown with conventional chemical agriculture.   The report quickly bounced around the media and the internet and has congealed into received wisdom. For example, in a recent chat with readers, Washington Post food politics columnist (and general policy writer) Ezra Klein engaged in the following exchange:

Santa Fe, N.M.: I saw a report today on a study finding that organic food isn’t any healthier than conventional food. Is buying organic a waste of money, in your opinion? Read the rest of this entry »


The Potential of Resveratrol-is it Worth Adding to your Health Regimen?

August 20, 2009

grapeResveratrol is a naturally occurring chemical found in the skins and seeds of red grapes, peanuts and in Polygonum, a popular and well respected herbal medicine from the Far East.  Currently, the research on Resveratrol is promising as a protective chemical against the damaging effects of toxins, synthetic estrogen and xenoestrogens, inflammation, and the process of aging.  It has specific actions on the brain, immune system, and heart.

In my practice I will use between 200 and 500 mg per day of Resveratrol as part of a treatment protocol. This typically is added to a protocol after a patient has been tested to determine if he or she has a deficiency of antioxidants or an imbalance of free radicals relative to antioxidants in the body.  All too often patients come into my practice with a huge bag of supplements, with no idea of what is working, what is not working and still battling the same symptoms that led him or her down the path of supplementation.

You know your body better then anyone else… you have been living in it your entire life!  You may have a sense of what is causing your symptoms and you also may have a sense for what medicines are helping or harming you.  To help confirm that sense, and develop a balanced approach to solving your health challenge, I encourage getting lab testing completed through a qualified Naturopathic Medical Doctor who has access and has experience with taking objective measured to get to an underlying biochemical cause for your symptoms.  And at that point, adding a powerful antioxidant such as Resveratrol to your protocol, and then re-testing after 3-6 months, this will let you know for certain if what you are taking is actually helping to balance your body!

In health,

Dr. Gina


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