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Archive Category: General Health

Banned Substances in Your Groceries??

June 3rd, 2019

There are a number of banned substances that make their way into our food supply. Fortunately there are options available to minimize exposure. Check out this fun article–it even has an interactive “grocery store” that lets you “check out” some groceries as well as find out how to avoid the exposure. EWG.org also lists their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” to help with our grocery budgets.

Sunscreen Absorbs Into Bloodstream–Safety Concerns?

May 10th, 2019

This could actually be a very long post, but I know most of us are too busy to read long blogs. So, I’ll cut to the points (check out this article, too):

  1. Excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer.
  2. Safety studies have never been completed on sunscreens.
  3. New research shows that active ingredients DO reach our blood stream within hours AND persist in the body at least 3 days after application.
  4. We don’t know if these chemicals are safe or not.
  5. Our babies and children get a much higher “dose” per application than adults (due to their higher surface to volume ratio).
  6. Zinc and titanium dioxide are the only sunscreens that have been determined to be “safe and effective”.

My recommendation? Cover up with “sun-safe” clothing. Here is a link to why and how it works. And do get about 15 minutes of sun exposure daily to support your vitamin D levels!

 

A New Test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

May 10th, 2019

Stanford reports that a new test may provide an effective way to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). They also claim that it may help guide effective medication therapies. I am hopeful, but I also hope that it doesn’t put CFS into a specific diagnostic “box” since I suspect multiple factors contribute to its etiology. I have yet to find one specific treatment for CFS that works for everyone–each patient seems to have some commonalities but also unique needs. I so appreciate the opportunity to work alongside those suffering with CFS and helping support their health and energy.

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Rosacea

May 7th, 2019

This is exciting news for those who love coffee but have been avoiding it due to rosacea. Research has been released indicating that coffee may actually have a protective effect against rosacea. This result did not apply to tea, chocolate, or other caffeine sources. And certainly, if you have high blood pressure or other health reasons for avoiding coffee, do not indulge. But if you’ve been avoiding coffee due to concerns about rosacea, you may safely enjoy a cup of coffee 🙂

Measles Outbreak, Flu Season, or Just a Cold

January 29th, 2019

If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area, you are likely aware of the current outbreak of measles. So far, most of the cases are in unvaccinated individuals. While most children will recover fully, there can be significant complications for others. Click here for more information on measles. I am not addressing the controversy regarding to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, but want to address the issue of what to do when you are sick.

If you are sick–fever, coughing, malaise, etc.–your best course of action is to stay home, rest, and recover! This goes against very real and powerful cultural pressures to “keep going”, “be strong”, “power through”, etc. The advent of all the medications to help dry up that runny nose and suppress that cough and reduce that fever have contributed to our perception of the ability to continue our daily schedules “as usual” when we are ill. This not only is a disservice to our own bodies, but to others whom we then expose. One of my favorite examples is from the book by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Roger Duvoisin, “White Snow, Bright Snow” published in 1947. The policeman caught a chill, his wife applied a mustard plaster, and he went to bed. I’ve attached a couple of the illustrations–but read the book, it is fun!

My hope is that we each can contribute to changing this cultural pressure–from pushing ourselves and children when we should be resting and healing to a culture that values our limitations and allows time for recovery. Yes, I know being sick is inconvenient and that recovery may be even more so.

And in this season of measles which is very contagious, please stay home if you have a fever, cough, runny nose. These will start even before the telltale rash. Just think, if everyone in Clark County could stay home for 2 weeks, we could end this outbreak! (OK, I know that is not practical 😉 ). Of course, call your health care provider if you are concerned about progression of your or your child’s illness!!

To your health!!

White Snow, Bright Snow

Use Your Headlights, Please

November 9th, 2018

This morning a particularly dense fog rolled in. I was perplexed by the number of cars on the road without their headlights or daytime running lights on. The cars without lights were invisible, even when they were quite close. PLEASE turn on your headlights in the fog–for your safety and that of others. But don’t use your high-beams since they will blind you as the driver. And, BTW, I rarely see cars equipped with “fog lights” anymore (these would be amber)–they have been replaced with “sports lights” which are very bright and blinding to the driver if used in fog. To your safety!!

Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

October 12th, 2018

I can’t say this enough: avoid artificial sweeteners! Dried stevia is OK but avoid formulas with alcohol sugars (they end with an “ol” on the end of their name). Check out this information.

Reduce Waste in the Kitchen–Here Are Some Tips!!

July 20th, 2018

So, we know that we should be reducing the use of plastics and aluminum foil in contact with our foods. Plastics can transfer dangers plasticizers (PCB for example) and aluminum can leach from foods. I recommend storing food in glass containers (keeping food from touching plastic seals), buying food that comes without wrappings (yes, that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and fish from the butcher, etc.)–and you can use cotton bags for the produce and paper for the meats. This article summarizes some options to break our habits. Protect your health AND the planet!! 🙂

Sugar Smacks–Like We Need Another Reason to Avoid It

July 13th, 2018

Hopefully, no one believes that Sugar Smacks cereal is a healthy way to start the day. But now it is also associated with a multi-state Salmonella outbreak. If you have any of this cereal in your cupboard, please dispose of it. Instead, focus on a healthy breakfast of fruit, vegetables, and egg or healthfully-raised meat or fish. My breakfast today (wish I had taken a photo!): quail eggs sauteed with red cabbage and broccoli. To Your Health!!

New Sunscreen List

June 28th, 2018

EWG has posted new sunscreen products on their recommended lists–check them out by clicking here. And stay safe while having fun out in the sun!!

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