Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living

Health Concerns

  • Prenatal Health Series: Nutrition During Pregnancy

    by Paula Gallagher | March 24, 2015

    prenatal-nutritionCongratulations, you are pregnant! Now what? Over the next few weeks we will look at nutrition, exercise, sleep habits and more regarding women's health during pregnancy. This week, we'll look at nutrition.

    Nutrition during pregnancy usually requires an increased need for vitamins and minerals. Deficiency or excess of any of a number of nutrients can lead to birth defects and/or complications during pregnancy.

    Diet – Eating a diet that is nutritious diet will not only keep you healthy, but it will also help the baby growing in you. Focus on whole fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, quality protein (eggs, nuts, chicken and fish), and keep hydrated. Read food labels carefully and try to avoid foods that contain trans fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oils, including margarine, shortening and most processed foods. Studies have shown that the higher the intake of trans fatty acids, the greater the risk of delivering a premature baby. These fats interfere with fetal development, especially in the brain. Avoid soft, unpasteurized cheeses, raw or smoked fish, and pates and deli meats. These can all contain bacteria that would be harmful for the baby. Read more

  • Fluoride Study Linked to Thyroid Problems

    by Paula Gallagher | March 18, 2015

    glass-of-waterA recent study out of England has found a link between the amount of fluoride in public drinking water and a rise in incidence of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, compared 2012 national data on levels of fluoride in drinking water to trends for hypothyroidism as diagnosed by family physicians across England.

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland near the base of the neck that produces hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many body activities, including how fast calories are burned and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid gland isn't active enough, it does not make enough thyroid hormone to meet the body's needs.

    The research found that in areas where tap water fluoride levels exceeded 0.3 milligrams per liter, the risk for having an underactive thyroid rose by 30%. The study, led by Stephen Peckham of the University of Kent in Canterbury, England found that hypothyroidism rates were nearly double in urbanized regions that had fluoridated tap water, compared with regions that did not. Read more

  • Children's Series: A Holistic Approach to Autism

    by Paula Gallagher | March 9, 2015

    autismAutism is a developmental disorder that involves abnormal development and function of the brain. Children and adults with autism show poor social communication skills and a difficulty in relating to others. Often, they demonstrate repetitive patterns of behaviors or interests. Taking a holistic approach to autism can help.

    Autism symptoms usually start before a child is 3 years old. Usually, parents first notice that their toddler has not started talking yet and is not interacting like other children the same age. But it is not unusual for a child to start to talk at the same time as other children the same age, then lose his or her language skills.

    Autism is believed to be genetic, but environmental factors are also thought to play a role.

    Today, one out of every 100 children is affected with autism or a related disorder. Thus, it is more prevalent than breast cancer or childhood diabetes. The recurrence rate for having a second child with autism if one already exists within a family is thought to be 15-20%.

    Symptoms of autism may include: Read more

  • Children's Series: Allergies

    by Paula Gallagher | March 2, 2015

    allergiesAllergies can be annoying, to say the least. But in some cases, they can also be debilitating and even deadly. And even more so in children.

    Allergies are hypersensitivity reactions to normally harmless substances. In allergic rhinitis, the immune system releases histamines and other chemicals to fight the “allergen.” As a result, swelling (inflammation) and congestion of the nasal passages and increased mucus production occurs. Allergies can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, but commonly children experience stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, itchy skin and eyes. Allergies can be seasonal or chronic, depending on the allergen. And the allergen can be anything from peanuts to mold to feathers. As children age, they can “outgrow” their allergies as their immune system matures.

    Here are five tips help with decreasing symptoms associated with allergies.

    1. Supplement. Nutrients such as bioflavonoids, calcium, magnesium, carotenoids, essential fatty acids, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin C work to help with inflammation, reduce allergic symptoms, soothe irritated mucous membranes, and support immune function. Click here to see what supplements can be beneficial for your child. Don't forget to consult with an expert to see what is best. Read more

  • 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

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