Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living

Health Concerns

  • Vitamin D Deficiency and Type 2 Diabetes

    by Paula Gallagher | February 24, 2015

    sun-baskingHere's another reason to make sure you are getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. A new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has shown that vitamin D deficiency and type 2 diabetes are linked in that people who do not get enough vitamin D are at higher risk of having diabetes, regardless of their weight.

    The results show that vitamin D levels were more closely linked to blood sugar levels than BMI, according to the study. Whether or not vitamin D played a role in causing diabetes or other disorders that affect the metabolism of glucose is unknown and further studies will need to be done.

    “The major strength of this study is that it compares vitamin D levels in people at a wide range of weights (from lean to morbidly obese subjects) while taking whether they had diabetes into account,” said one of the study’s authors, Mercedes Clemente-Postigo, MSc, of Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA). They also went on to say that, "The study suggests that vitamin D deficiency and obesity interact synergistically to heighten the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. The average person may be able to reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough outdoor activity." Read more

  • Children's Series: Preventing Colds

    by Paula Gallagher | February 23, 2015

    child-sleepingWILL THIS WINTER HAVE NO END? If you are anywhere near the northern east coast, it sure doesn't feel like spring is just weeks away. And with the never-ending winter, come never-ending colds, especially for kids. Preventing colds can be a challenge, but there are some things you can do to help.

    Often colds are caused by viruses that are found in invisible droplets in the air, which we either breathe or touch. And with children in schools, daycare, and sports, they have more opportunity to catch something. That, combined with what is most likely less than ideal hygiene practices.

    More than 100 different viruses can infiltrate the protective lining of the nose and throat, triggering an immune system reaction that can cause a sore throat and headache, and make it hard to breathe through the nose. Dry air (indoors or outdoors) can lower the resistance to infection, causing more colds in the winter. Underlying allergies can also decrease resistance and allow a virus to infect the body. Maintaining a healthy immune system is the best protection against colds. Read more

  • 5 Tips for a Healthy Heart

    by Paula Gallagher | February 18, 2015

    heartFebruary is American Heart Month and according to the American Heart Association, about 2,150 Americans die each day from these diseases. That is one every 40 seconds. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

    Scary, right? But here is the good news. Since heart disease is usually a result of lifestyle choices you make every day, you can begin to make new choices, starting today, that will significantly decrease your risk of developing or dying from a cardiovascular condition, no matter where your heart’s health stands right now.

    Here are five tips for a healthier heart:

    1. Watch and know your weight. In a world of increasingly less activity, thanks to computers and smart phones leading to more sedentary lifestyles, as well as consuming more food,  we are at our fattest ever. Your weight relative to your height is an important indicator of your cardiovascular disease risk. While you don't need to weigh yourself everyday, knowing what you should weigh is a good baseline.  Get to know your BMI, as well. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. Anything over 30 is considered obese. Read more

  • Children's Series: ADD and ADHD

    by Paula Gallagher | February 16, 2015

    child-playingAttention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are very common childhood behavioral and developmental disorders. Onset usually occurs by the age of 3 and can last through adulthood. Children with ADD and ADHD usually have trouble paying attention, staying focused, and controlling their behavior.

    A child with ADD/ADHD may:

    Daydream a lot
    Forget or lose things a lot
    Squirm or fidget
    Talk too much
    Make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
    Have a hard time resisting temptation
    Have trouble taking turns
    Have difficulty getting along with others

    Some possible triggers for ADD/ADHD include:

    Read more

  • Healing After Surgery

    by Paula Gallagher | February 10, 2015

    after-surgeryJust recently I received a question about what to take to help speed up healing after surgery. Unfortunately, surgery is sometimes necessary and unavoidable, and undergoing a surgical procedure can trigger a significant amount of stress on the body.

    Research has shown that the gastrointestinal and immune systems become weakened after surgery, leaving the body open to infection, and when you are in the hospital, minimizing the risk of postoperative infection is of the highest concern.

    Thankfully, there are natural approaches that can be taken, both before and after surgery, to speed up healing time, decrease inflammation and pain, and improve the overall quality of life for the recuperating patient. Here are some suggestions.

    Eat Healthy. The quality of food we eat has a significant effect on healing time and inflammation. Poor nutrition, either before or after surgery, has a negative effect on recovery. Avoid refined flours, sugar, red meats, alcohol and coffee, as they can suppress immune system function and promote inflammation. Read more

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