Kids and Mindfulness

Caroline Wilson, M.Ed., FMHC
 You may be thinking that kids and mindfulness are not two things that naturally go together. But as anxiety continues to become an epidemic for our children and teens, we must find ways to help them make mindfulness a part of their lives.

So, what is mindfulness? 

A great definition by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction describes it well:

 Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. 

Stopping, paying attention, and noticing what’s happening around you, and everything you’re feeling, thinking and doing in that particular moment with honesty and without judgment is being mindful.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Actually, this Harvard study found that we spend almost 50% of our time thinking about something else and NOT what we’re actually doing!

Here are just a few of the health benefits of mindfulness that have been researched:
Increased focus and attention
Improved memory and learning
Less anxiety and depression
Better emotional self-regulation
Stronger immune system
Reduced inflammation 

Here are a couple of my favorite mindfulness exercises that you can do with your kids:
 
STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN
 
You and your kids can practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime.  A great way for kids to learn how to be mindful is by using the STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN method.  This involves, STOPPING what you are doing, LOOKING around you and using all 5 senses (what are you seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and even tasting) and LISTENING (listen to your body and mind and how it feels in that moment).

THE FIVE SENSES EXERCISE

Another quick exercise that can be done anywhere is the 5 senses exercise.  Notice 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.  This exercise can bring you to a mindful state quickly.
These are just a couple of examples of how you can practice mindfulness with your kids.   

Your Partner in Health!
Caroline Wilson, M.Ed., FMHC

COVID-19 UPDATED

Blair Cuneo, PA-C
While there are questions and uncertainties in our evolving understanding of COVID-19, its variants and vaccination options, there are many things we have learned. We continue to see reduced severity of COVID-19 illness in patients with less chronic inflammation and with healthy immune support.

The CDC website reviewing preventative recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated patients is below, including guidelines for mask wearing, social distancing and information on vaccinations.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

In addition to those guidelines, the providers at Carolina Total Wellness recommend the following lifestyle and supplement supports to optimize immune function, decrease viral transmission, reduce viral activity in the body and support the body’s immune response.

LIFESTYLE:
For adults and children, focus on eating foods that are organic and rich in antioxidants.  Try to eat 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and 2 to 3 servings of fruit every day.  Drink filtered water, avoiding plastics as much as possible. Improve ventilation, air flow and utilize quality air filters indoors, including home and work. Ensure adequate sleep for healthy immune and detox response.
Integrate mindfulness and stress lowering practices each and every day.
 
SUPPLEMENTS: (Bold items are available in online patient portal supplement store)

Adult Prevention Supplement Options:
1. Vitamin C: 500-1000mg daily to twice a day (Complete Vitamin C)
2. Vitamin D: 2000IU -5000 IU per day (Liquid D3, Vitamin D3, Ortho Force)
3. Zinc: 15-30mg daily (Zinc glycinate or Zinc Drink)
4. Quercetin 400 mg daily (Allergy Ease, BetaQ Immune, D-Hist Jr)
5. Melatonin 3-6 mg at bedtime (Melatonin CR or Quick Dissolve Melatonin)
6. Biocidin LSF mix 10 pumps into Xlear or a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray: 2 sprays per nostril after possible exposures to virus.  
Additional options to discuss with your provider include curcumin, NAC, Andrographis, Vitamin A, Resveratrol and Immune Adaptogenic Mushrooms.
 
Pediatric Prevention Supplement Options:

1. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C), Seeking Health Liposomal Vitamin C (liquid):3-5 years: 125-250 mg daily6-12 years: 250-500 mg daily 
2. Vitamin D (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3):3-6 years: 1,000 IU daily7-12 years: 2,000-3,000 IU daily 
3. Zinc (Zinc Drink, Zinc Glycinate):3 years: 5-10 mg daily4-12 years 10-25 mg daily 
4. Quercetin (CTW Allergy Ease, D-Hist Jr chewables):3-4 years: 50-100 mg daily4-8 years: 100 mg daily8-12 years: 100-200 mg daily 
5. Xlear nasal spray: 1-2 sprays per nostril daily and after potential exposures. 
6. Elderberry:<7yo: 250mg daily>7yo: 500mg daily 
Additional options to discuss with your provider include curcumin and glutathione
 
The following therapeutic options are started at first signs of illness, positive exposure, and/or positive testing. Please notify your provider so that we can further personalize support.

Adult Therapeutic Supplement Options:

Vitamin C: increase to 1000mg four times a day. Reduce dosage to 500mg if loose bowels. (Complete Vitamin C)

Vitamin D: 2000-5000IU per day (Liquid D3, Vitamin D3, Ortho Force

Zinc liquid or lozenges: 15-20mg four times a day. Swish liquid before swallowing. If using lozenge, do not chew, instead suck on lozenge until done. (Zinc Drink)

Quercetin:  800 mg two times a day (Allergy Ease, BetaQ Immune, D-Hist Jr

Melatonin 3-6 mg at bedtime (Melatonin CR or Quick Dissolve Melatonin

Biocidin LSF mix 10 pumps into Xlear or a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray: 2 sprays per nostril two times a day. 

Curcumin 500-1000 mg four times a day (Meriva or Turmero liquid) N-acetylcysteine: 600mg twice a day (CTW Liver Support or Trizomal glutathione

Andrographis: 375 mg twice daily (Viragraphis

Pediatric Therapeutic Supplement Options:

1. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C), Seeking Health Liposomal Vitamin C (liquid)3-5 years: 125-250 mg four times a day, reduce dose if loose bowel movements.6-12 years: 250-500 mg four times a day, reduce dose if loose bowel movements. 
2. Vitamin D (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3):3-6 years: 1,000 IU daily7-12 years: 2,000-3,000 IU daily 
3. Zinc liquid or lozenges (Zinc Drink or Zinc Glycinate)3 years: 5-10 mg four times a day4-12 years: 10-15 mg four times a day 
4. Quercetin (CTW Allergy Ease caps or D Hist Jr chewables):3-4 years: 50-100 mg two times a day4-8 years: 100 mg two times a day8-12 years: 100-200 mg two times a day 
5. Melatonin (Quick Dissolve Melatonin 3mg) or Source Naturals Melatonin lozenge, 1mg3-5 years: 1mg at bedtime6-12: 3mg at bedtime 
6. Biocidin LSF: 5 pumps into Xlear or nasal saline spray: 1-2 sprays per nostril two times a day.
 
7. Curcumin (Meriva or Turmero liquid)3-4 years: 125 mg three times a day4-8 years: three times a day8-12 years: 325 mg three times a day 
8. Glutathione (Trizomal Glutathione):3-5 years: 50mg two times a day6-12 years: 100mg twice a day


   
 

ADULT COVID-19 Vaccination prep: supporting resiliency
 
Start 2 weeks BEFORE and continue for 1 week AFTER vaccination:
 
1. Clean water: 8–10 glasses a day or ½ body weight in ounces
2. CTW Complete Vitamin C: 1 cap (500mg) two times a day
3. CTW Daily Multivitamin or MitoCore 2 caps two times a day
4. Daily Probiotic
5. Vitamin D3 4000IU daily
6. Zinc Glycinate 15mg daily
7. SPM Active 2 caps daily
 
In the days leading up to your vaccination, fuel your immune system with healthy, organic colorful foods that are nutrient dense. Avoid pro-inflammatory junk foods and sugary foods. Rest when you need to rest and aim for quality sleep the two nights before the vaccination.
 
*Day of and day after vaccination, increase vitamin C:
CTW Vitamin C: 2 caps (1000mg) twice a day
 
After your vaccination, think muscle, immune and lymphatic system support:
 
Engage your deltoid, the shoulder muscle which received the vaccine. Movement and engagement of the muscle will reduce the tenderness and soreness which can start setting in a few hours later. Example exercises include arm circles, push-ups, resistance shoulder pressing exercises.
 
Go on a walk! Perform some light cardio and exercise after your vaccination to provide a healthy stimulus for your immune system for optimal response and reduce side effects.
 
Stimulate your lymphatic system! Right after the vaccine, begin gentle skin brushing of the vaccinated arm, encouraging lymphatic flow toward center of body. Whole body lymph support options: whole body dry skin brushing, gentle rebounding, deep breathing. 
 
   

PEDIATRIC COVID-19 Vaccination prep:
 supporting resiliency for children 12 years and older
 
Start 2 weeks BEFORE and continue for 1 week AFTER vaccination:
 
1. Clean water: ½ body weight in ounces
2. Vitamin C: 250-500mg two times a day (CTW Complete Vitamin C caps, Seeking Health Liposomal Vitamin C (liquid)
3. Daily Multivitamin (ActivNutrients chewables or CTW Daily Multivitamin caps)
4. Daily Probiotic (Ther-biotic complete chewables or CTW Daily Probiotic)
5. Vitamin D 2,000IU – 4,000IU daily (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3)
6. Zinc 15mg daily (Zinc Drink liquid, Zinc Glycinate caps)
7. SPM Active 2 caps daily
 
In the days leading up to your vaccination, fuel your child’s immune system with healthy, organic colorful foods that are nutrient dense. Avoid pro-inflammatory junk foods and sugary foods. Stick to sleep schedules/healthy sleep hygiene and aim for quality sleep the two nights before the vaccination.
 
*Day of and day after vaccination, add extra C to above protocol:
Vitamin C: 1000mg two times a day
 
After your vaccination, think muscle, immune and lymphatic system support, refer to instructions above.
  
Please contact our office for an appointment to further support and personalize your path to wellness.
 

Your Partner In Health!
Blair Cuneo, PA-C
 

References:
https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2020/03/16/covid19-traditional-chinese-medicine-and-western-options-for-the-non-tcm-trained-clinician/?mc_cid=1cd528a9bd&mc_eid=fb7826b1c3
https://healthykidshappykids.com/2020/02/27/coronavirus-covid-19/
https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2020/03/12/covid-19-preserving-your-familys-health-and-sanity-in-the-face-of-a-pandemic/?mc_cid=1cd528a9bd&mc_eid=fb7826b1c3
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550830720301130?fbclid=IwAR0ZjInhMGulFrfnMHVL_uITY5EYuGNccwRII03as8NSVn_EeqRGvi8DgXY
https://healthykidshappykids.com/2020/04/04/pediatricians-pandemic-immune-support-plan/
https://info.ifm.org/covid-19?utm_campaign=covid-19&utm_source=website&utm_medium=popup&utm_content=resources_learn_more
https://covid19criticalcare.com/covid-19-protocols/i-mask-plus-protocol/
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/your-vaccination.html
 
 

 

Tips for Picky Eaters

By: Caroline Wilson, M.Ed., FMHC       

Do you have a picky eater?

Picky eating often begins early in life for our kids and is often one of the top concerns reported in our practice.  It’s not about perfection, it’s about creating a love of food and how it fuels our mental and physical health. 

Healthy eating habits start at home. With a few changes and persistence, we help patients go from eating chicken nuggets and white pasta meals to filling their plates with more colorful fruits and vegetables.

Here are a few of my favorite tips for picky eaters:

#1 Lead by example.  If you want your children to add more colorful and healthy foods to their plate, then you must eat them too.  Help them understand why it’s important to eat healthy.  “Because we want to feel good and have energy.”

#2 Make food FUN and Accessible.  We eat with our eyes so access and presentation are key.  For example, put healthy food at eye level in the refrigerator or create a vegetable tray and set it out on the counter.  Cut food into fun shapes or arrange the snacks in a mini muffin tin for something different. 

#3 Timed Snacking. Endless snacking does not allow time for kids to get hungry and eat what is prepared for meals.  One idea to help guide snack choices is to set out the veggie/fruit tray at designated snack times and “close” the kitchen soon after.  If you prefer them to choose their snacks, a great rule is to pick something from the fridge before the pantry. 

These are just a few tips to help you get started with creating more colorful plates that your kids will want to eat.  Our pediatric team has experience and more ideas to handle the pickiest eaters.  Every child is different and learns to eat new foods and make healthy changes at a different pace.  With a little persistence, patience, and fun, positive changes can happen.  

Contact our office for an appointment to get started with our Pediatric Team

919-999-8031

Pediatric Guidelines for “Colds”

Blair Cuneo

By: Blair Cuneo, PA-C

Pediatric Supplement Prevention Options:

1. Annual Vitamin A “flu” shot (Seeking Health liquid vitamin A, CTW Vitamin A caps): • 150,000 IU vitamin A once

2. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C):

• 3-5 years: 125-250 mg daily

• 6-12 years: 250-500 mg daily

3. Vitamin D (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3):

• 3-6 years: 1,000 IU daily

• 7-12 years: 2,000-3,000 IU daily

• 13-18 years: 3,000-4,000 IU daily

4. Zinc (Zinc Drink, Zinc Glycinate):

• 3 years: 5-10 mg daily

• 4-12 years 10-25 mg daily

5. Probiotics (Ther-biotic Chewables, CTW Daily Probiotic, CTW S. boulardii):

• All ages: 1 a day

6. Omega 3 (Nordic Naturals DHA (strawberry), Nordic Naturals CLO (orange), CTW Omega 3s):

• 4-12 years: 2000 mg daily

7. Elderberry: • <7yo: 250mg daily • >7yo: 500mg daily

8. Boiron Oscillococcinum (homeopathy):

• 1 vial once a week

Pediatric Supplement Therapeutic options: Start at first signs of upper respiratory illness.

1. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C)

• 3-5 years: 125-250 mg dosed every hour, reducing if loose bowel movements

• 6-12 years: 250-500 mg dosed every hour, reducing if loose bowel movements

2. Zinc liquid or lozenges (Zinc Drink or Zinc Glycinate)

• 3 years: 5-10 mg every 6 hours

• 4-12 years: 10-15 mg every 6 hours

3. Elderberry:

• Kids: 1-2 tsp 3-4 times a day

• Teens and Adults: 1 TBL 3-4 times a day

Homeopathy options begun at symptom onset:

1. Boiron Oscillococcinum

• One vial 3xday for 24 hours

2. Boiron ColdCalm

• Ages 3+: 2 tabs under tongue every 15 min for 1 hour; then 3xday until symptoms resolve.

3. Umcka ColdCare/Cough/Cold+Flu (ages 12 and older) and Umcka ColdCare Kids (ages 6 and older)

• Use as directed

Carolina Total Wellness also carries “Viracid” and “Viragraphis”, combination formulas to combat viral illness, in capsule form. Ask your provider for more information on dosing.

Healthy foods and restorative sleep are fundamental, especially when sick. Bone broth daily, minimum 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Restorative Sleep guidelines from AAP:

Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps)

Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours of sleep every 24 hours

Children 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

Blair Cuneo
Pediatric Team Lead

A Note From Blair Cuneo PA-C Lead Pediatric Team Care Provider

Blair Cuneo
Pediatric Team Lead

Thinking back to my childhood, it was difficult to list many friends or classmates with multiple medical conditions that decreased their quality of life. Fast forward to working as a family practice PA-C, I saw not only the list of medical conditions and medications increasing for my adult patients, but also those of my pediatric ones. These included severe food or environmental allergies, difficult to treat eczema or asthma, overwhelming anxiety, sleep difficulties, chronic or recurrent pain with migraines, menstrual cycles, joints. I did as I was well trained to do, prescribe, and refer; prescribe and refer. I felt confident in suppressing their symptoms but not genuinely appreciating the cycle we were all in.
Traditional visits to family care or pediatric providers do not allow the time to truly sit down with a family and understand where their child is, how and why they got there, and where they want to be. Pediatric functional medicine appreciates this thorough discussion, as it will powerfully impact the creation of an individualized plan of action. Pediatric functional medicine works to understand root cause of symptoms and diagnoses. We implement medical and lifestyle therapies that will change the momentum of chronic illness and improve quality of life.

Your pediatric functional medicine team includes a medical provider and health coach certified through the Institute of Functional medicine. We work with families to target nutrient needs, understand inflammatory triggers inside and outside of the body, diversify and increase colorful, anti-inflammatory whole foods and address lifestyle balance. We work to increase the resiliency of these young bodies who are under increasing pressure to detox from stressors on their systems.

Every BODY can benefit from a functional medicine approach to wellness. Lists of medicines and medical concerns have become normalized in our society, but it is not normal and it’s definitely not optimal.
Call or go online to learn more how Carolina Total Wellness pediatric functional medicine team can optimize health for the special children in your life.

Covid 19 Recommendations

COVID19 Recommendations
Updated March 23, 2020

Your best defense against a viral infection is a healthy immune system which you can support with clean air, clean water and clean food. Focus on eating foods that are organic and rich in antioxidants (fruits and vegetables). Make sure that the water you drink is adequately filtered and do not drink out of plastic bottles. Use good quality HEPA filters in your home, especially your bedroom. Practice good hygiene with frequent hand washing with warm water and soap. Keep stress levels as low as possible and make adequate sleep a priority.
In addition to social distancing, frequent/adequate handwashing and sanitizing guidelines from CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html), here are Cov19 recommendations. Please keep in mind, information is changing daily. Covid-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2, is too new for us to have a body of literature on how specific nutrients or herbal remedies affect clinical outcomes. We therefore predict the risk/benefit based on understanding mechanisms involved and similarities between this virus and its most closely related viruses. Based on new concerns regarding this specific virus, we have amended our prior recommendations on high dose vitamin A and D.

These supplement regimens are not intended to cure Covid-19 but to help boost your body’s own immune response to the virus. If you suspect symptoms of Covid-19, we recommend that you call your primary care physician’s office or seek evaluation and testing through an Urgent Care center. A list of resources is available at the end of this document.

Adult Prevention Options: (supplements available through your online patient portal)
1. Vitamin C: 500-1000mg daily (CTW Complete Vitamin C)
2. Vitamin D: 2000IU -5000IU per day (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3)
3. Omega 3 (EPA/DHA): 2500mg daily (CTW Omega 3 or Arctic Cod Liver oil) or (Metagenics SPM) 2 caps twice daily
4. Zinc glycinate: 15-30mg daily (Reacted Zinc or Zinc Drink)
5. N-acetylcysteine: 600mg daily (CTW Liver Support) or (Trizomal glutathione) 5mL once daily
6. (Biocidin LSF) mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray twice into each nostril upon returning home from outside exposure like your office or the grocery store.
7. PEA: 2 caps daily. Recommend Vitalitus PEA or Metagenics Hemp Advantage Plus {PEA with CBD}.
8. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders, providing >20% beta-D-glucans: 1 cap daily**
9. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: 1 cap daily**
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

Pediatric Prevention Options: (supplements available on your online patient portal)
1. Vitamin C: 250mg daily (1/2 capsule of CTW Complete Vitamin C)
2. Vitamin D: 600IU-1000IU per day (CTW Liquid D3)
3. Omega 3: 500-1000mg daily (DHA Junior Liquid or Arctic Cod Liver oil) or (Metagenics SPM) 1 cap twice daily
4. Zinc glycinate: 15mg daily (Zinc Drink)
5. N-acetylcysteine: 300mg daily (CTW Liver Support) or (Trizomal glutathione) 2.5mL once daily
6. (Biocidin LSF) mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray once into each nostril upon returning home from outside exposure that couldn’t be avoided….stay strong parents! No friend visits!
7. PEA: ages 5-14: 1 cap daily. Recommend Vitalitus PEA or Metagenics Hemp Advantage Plus {PEA with CBD}.
8. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders, providing >20% beta-D-glucans: 1 cap daily**
9. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: 1 cap daily**
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

See next page for graphic to review signs of illness and therapeutic options:

*** New data, obtained after this chart was generated, indicates that diarrhea occurs in up to half of all patients presenting the Covid-19***

At first sign of illness, adult therapeutic options:
1. Vitamin C: increase to 1 gram per hour x 6 hours per day. Reduce dose slightly if you develop loose bowel movements
2. Zinc liquid or lozenges: Swish liquid or allow lozenge to dissolve slowly, bathing the throat in zinc. Total zinc should be 60mg per day x 1 week. Recommended to divide this up with 1 teaspoon Zinc Drink 4 x day only to avoid copper depletion.
3. Biocidin LSF mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray twice into each nostril two times a day.
4. Metagenics SPMs: Increase to 2 caps 3 times per day with first symptoms, continue x 6 weeks.
5. N-acetylcysteine: Increase to 600mg twice a day or Trizomal glutathione 5mL twice a day
6. PEA: increase to 2 caps three times per day with first symptoms. Continue for six weeks
7. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders**: increase to 2 caps twice a day with symptoms
8. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: increase to 2 caps once to twice per day with symptoms.
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

At first sign of illness, pediatric therapeutic options:
1. Vitamin C: increase to 500mg per hour x 6 hours per day. Reduce dose slightly if you develop loose bowel movements
2. Zinc liquid or lozenges: Swish liquid or allow lozenge to dissolve slowly, bathing the throat in zinc. Total zinc should be 60mg per day x 1 week. Recommended to divide this up with 1 teaspoon Zinc Drink 4 x day only to avoid copper depletion.
3. Biocidin LSF mix 10 pumps with a bottle of over the counter nasal saline spray or Xlear and then spray twice into each nostril two times a day.
4. Metagenics SPMs: Increase to 1 cap 3 times per day with first symptoms, continue x 6 weeks.
5. N-acetylcysteine: Increase to 300mg twice a day or Trizomal glutathione 2.5mL twice a day
6. PEA: increase to 1 cap three times per day with first symptoms. Continue for six weeks
7. Real Mushrooms 5 Defenders**: increase to 1 cap twice a day with symptoms
8. Real Mushrooms Reishi 415**: increase to 1 cap once to twice per day with symptoms.
**Mushrooms are highly complex. Certain compounds are immunostimulating. Is this a problem in COVID19, or a benefit? We don’t know the answer. There is also concern using immune stimulants in autoimmune patients**
Herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, andrographis and beta glucans can help to boost immune function. However, we do not recommend taking these supplements if you have an existing autoimmune condition as these may flare your condition.

References:
https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2020/03/16/covid19-traditional-chinese-medicine-and-western-options-for-the-non-tcm-trained-clinician/?mc_cid=1cd528a9bd&mc_eid=fb7826b1c3

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What a Pediatrician Wants You to Know


https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2020/03/12/covid-19-preserving-your-familys-health-and-sanity-in-the-face-of-a-pandemic/?mc_cid=1cd528a9bd&mc_eid=fb7826b1c3

From the NC Health Department:
If you have questions about COVID-19 (coronavirus), dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211.
For all other questions, the DHHS Customer Service Center can assist in finding programs and people to help you. Call 1-800-662-7030.

3708 Forestview Rd., #202 office@carolinatotalwellness.com T: 919-999-0831
Raleigh, NC 27612 www.carolinatotalwellness.com F: 888-394-6442

What Leaky Gut Is and Why Should You Care

919 why you should care about leaky gut

If you have been researching how to improve your health, you may have heard of leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability. If that conjures an unpleasant image of your gut contents leaking into the rest of your body — that’s not too far off the mark.

Leaky gut happens when contents from the small intestine spill into the sterile bloodstream through a damaged and “leaky” gut wall. This contamination of the bloodstream by not only partially digested foods but also bacteria, yeast, and other pathogens begins to create a foundation for chronic inflammatory and autoimmune health disorders.

Symptoms and disorders linked to leaky gut include fatigue, depression, brain fog, skin problems, joint pain, chronic pain, autoimmune disease, puffiness, anxiety, poor memory, asthma, food allergies and sensitivities, seasonal allergies, fungal infections, migraines, arthritis, PMS, and many more. Basically, your genetic predispositions will determine how leaky gut manifests for you.

Leaky gut is referred to as intestinal permeability in the scientific research. It means inflammation has caused the inner lining of the small intestine to become damaged and overly porous. This allows overly large compounds into the small intestine. The immune system recognizes these compounds as hostile invaders that don’t belong in the bloodstream and launches an ongoing attack against them, raising inflammation throughout the body. Also, some of these compounds are very toxic (endotoxins) and take up residence throughout the body, triggering inflammation wherever they go.

At the same time, excess intestinal mucous and inflammation from the damage prevents much smaller nutrients from getting into the bloodstream, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and poor cellular function.

Leaky gut is increasingly being recognized as a common underlying factor in most inflammatory symptoms and disorders.

Medicine finally recognizes leaky gut

Conventional medicine has long ridiculed leaky gut information and protocols as quack science and alternative medicine folklore, but newer research now establishes it as a legitimate mechanism. In fact, pharmaceutical companies are even working on drugs to address leaky gut.

Research has established links between leaky gut and many chronic disorders. It’s good this long-known information is finally being validated in the dominant medical paradigm as the gut is the largest immune organ, powerfully influencing the rest of the body, as well as the brain.

Current studies link intestinal permeability with inflammatory bowel disorders, gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, depression, psoriasis, and other chronic and autoimmune conditions. Given what we know about the connection between gut health and immunity, it’s vital to include a gut repair protocol in overall treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

How to mend leaky gut

Sometimes, repairing leaky gut can be as simple as removing inflammatory foods from your diet. Other times it’s more complicated. Most importantly, you need to know why you have leaky gut. Either way, however, your diet is foundational.

Many cases of leaky gut stem from a standard US diet of processed foods and excess sugars. Food intolerances also contribute significantly, especially a gluten intolerance. A leaky gut diet, also known as an autoimmune diet, has helped many people repair intestinal permeability. Keeping blood sugar balanced is also vital. If blood sugar that gets too low or too high, this promotes leaky gut. Stabilizing blood sugar requires eating regularly enough to avoid energy crashes. You also need to prevent high blood sugar by avoiding too many sugars and carbohydrates. Regular exercise is also vital to stabilizing blood sugar and promoting a healthy gut.

Also, failure to eat enough fiber and produce leads to leaky gut by creating a very unhealthy gut microbiome, or gut bacteria. Our intestines (and entire body) depend on a healthy and diverse gut microbiome for proper function. A healthy gut microbiome comes from eating at least 25 grams of fiber a day and a wide and rotating variety of plant foods.

Other common things that lead to leaky gut include antibiotics, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, excess alcohol, hypothyroidism, and autoimmunity.

A leaky gut protocol can help you improve your health, relieve symptoms, boost energy, make you happier, and clear your brain fog. Ask my office for advice on improving your well being through a leaky gut diet and protocol.

How You Were Born Could Shape the Rest of Your Life

916 microbiome and birth

Whether you’re fat or thin, anxious or relaxed, sickly or resilient — this could all stem from the way you were born thanks to the effects of bacteria in our first few seconds of life. Babies born via c-section are shown to have less desirable gut bacteria, or a gut microbiome, compared to babies born vaginally, who have healthier microbiome “signatures.”

Results from the largest study of the newborn microbiome were recently published. The study found that newborns delivered via c-section lack the healthy gut bacteria found in vaginally delivered babies. Their guts also contain strains of harmful microbes — Enterococcus and Klebsiella — commonly found in hospitals.

In fact, the lead researcher said the levels of harmful hospital bacteria in the c-section newborns was “shocking.” These babies were also deficient in the healthy bacteria that made up most of the guts of the vaginally born babies.

The difference was so profound that he said he can tell you how the baby was born simply by analyzing the bacteria in their stool.

C-section babies missing strain vital for health, weight management, and immune resilience

After several months the gut microbiomes between the two set of infants became more similar with one striking difference — the c-section babies had significantly lower levels of Bacteroides, a strain vital to human health.

Bacteroides are a key strain when it comes to health challenges modern societies face. A number of studies have shown Bacteroides levels are lower in people with obesity. Studies in both mice and humans show that when gut bacteria from thin subjects are transplanted into the colons of obese subjects, most subjects lose weight.

Bacteroides has also been linked with preventing anxiety, and boosting and regulating immunity to prevent inflammatory disorders. This may explain why people who were born via c-section are at increased risk for obesity and asthma.

The study is part of a larger Baby Biome study that is following thousands of newborns through childhood.

Why method of birth affects the gut microbiome

Research suggests that the vaginal canal imparts beneficial bacteria to the infant during birth, while c-section babies are deprived of that and instead immediately exposed to the bacteria of the hospital and the people attending the birth. Studies are underway in which babies born via c-section are swabbed with the mother’s vaginal microbes.

Other factors to consider beyond birth

It may not just be the birth that determines a c-section baby’s poorer microbiome status. Women who undergo c-sections also receive antibiotics, which may transfer to the newborn through the placenta and later through breast milk. These babies also tend to stay in the hospital longer and thus are exposed to more hospital bacteria.

How to develop healthy gut bacteria

Developing good gut bacteria is not neccesarily as simple as taking probiotics. You may also be overrun with detrimental bacteria that need to be “weeded.”

Perhaps most important is whether your diet supports a healthy gut microbiome.

What the gut microbiome needs most is an ample supply of vegetables and fruits on a regular basis in a wide, ever changing variety. Eating a diverse and abundanat array of plant foods will help create a diverse and abundant gut microbiome.

Ask my office for more advice on how we can help you improve your gut microbiome and overall health.

New Research Provides More Clues in PANDAS

912 new pandas insights

Children who recently had a strep infection and then go on to suddenly develop symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette’s, tics, odd behaviors, emotional instability, and other psychiatric and neurological disorders are believed to have PANDAS.

PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections.

In some children, a strep infection appears to trigger an autoimmune attack against the brain, causing a sudden onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

PANS, or Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, is similar, except environmental factors or other infections trigger symptoms.

PANDAS/PANS isn’t believed to be fully credible by many experts or doctors, in part because it must be diagnosed by symptoms and because the supporting research hasn’t been very strong. Instead, they diagnose affected children with conditions such as OCD.

However, recent research sheds new light on the disorder and why it affects some children and not others.

PANDAS/PANS causes inflammation in an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, which helps govern emotions and motor control. When the immune system creates antibodies to the strep infection, these antibodies mistakenly attack tissue in the basal ganglia as well.

In 2018, researchers isolated cells in the basal ganglia, called cholinergic interneurons, which are affected by the immune attack. Previous research has shown these cells are depleted in Tourette’s syndrome.

These cholinergic interneurons fire less when strep antibodies attach to them, which is believed to cause the symptoms associated with PANDAS/PANS.

Normally, antibodies would not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier to cause immune attacks in the brain. However, research shows the spike in inflammatory immune cells called TH-17 from a strep infection can cause the blood-brain barrier to open up. This is commonly called leaky blood-brain barrier and can allow strep antibodies and other pathogens to enter into the brain.

It has been found that most of these TH-17 cells pool in the olfactory bulb, an area of the brain that receives signals from the nasal passages.

This creates a path through which antibodies can enter, especially with repeat strep infections.

Genetic susceptibility has also been found to be a link in PANDAS/PANS.

PANDAS diagnosis criteria

  • Significant obsessions, compulsions, tics
  • Abrupt onset of these symptoms or relapsing and remitting symptom severity
  • Onset prior to puberty
  • Association with strep infection
  • Association with neuropsychiatric symptoms, including PANS symptoms

PANS diagnosis criteria:

Abrupt, dramatic onset of OCD or severely limited food intake and the addition of at least two of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Emotional swings and/or depression
  • Irritability, anger, oppositional behavior
  • Regression
  • School performance deteriorates
  • Sensory or motor abnormalities
  • Sleep disturbances, urinary frequency, bed wetting

Functional medicine for PANDAS/PANS

Functional medicine strategies can help reduce inflammation and autoimmune attacks in PANDAS/PANS and support immune and brain health.

Functional medicine strategies may include removing inflammatory triggers from the diet and the environment; nutritional therapies to lower inflammation and support brain health; addressing blood sugar, gut health, and toxicity; supporting neurotransmitters; and repairing mitochondrial function and the blood-brain barrier.

Quick action can improve outcome. For more information, contact my office.