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Are Vegan Diets Better?

The Diets War - Volume 1 I was recently interviewed for an article in Connecticut Magazine, asked about my thoughts on a vegan diet... and I wanted to expand upon the topic. The internet is full of recommendations and admonitions about what you should eat, and you don’t have to look around very long to realize many of these claims directly contradict each other. So how do you make sense of it all? Start by remembering what people most often forget: there is no one single healthy diet that is best for everyone. Different health conditions require different diets, and

Neti Pots and Sinus Rinses for Relief of Sinus Pain

Neti Pots and other forms of sinus rinses are a great way to relieve sinus pain and pressure. Some studies suggest that doing sinus irrigation every day helps to shorten the duration of sinusitis and prevent infection in people with chronic sinusitis (To look at a recent review of treatments for sinusitis including nasal irrigation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26325561). Neti Pots More Effective Many people are given antibiotics unnecessarily for the treatment of sinusitis. Based on studies showing no decrease in severity or duration of sinusitis with antibiotic treatment (because most sinusitis is viral or allergic), antibiotics are only recommended after 10 days of

Allergy Medications: Possible Increased Risk of Dementia

A new study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that certain allergy medications including diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may be related to changes in cognitive ability, brain deterioration and an increased risk of developing dementia. The reason that I wrote “may be related to” instead of “cause” is that the study shows that there is a strong correlation between people taking these medications and these outcomes. This does not mean that there is a definite causal relationship (in other words, we do not know if these medications cause dementia). News shows will often overstate the findings of a

FDA Bans 19 Chemicals Used in Anti-Bacterial Soaps

On September 2, 2016 the FDA issued a new rule banning the use of 19 different antiseptic “anti-bacterial” chemicals in over-the-counter soaps. These chemicals have been banned for two reasons: data suggests that long-term exposure to these chemicals poses health risks, potentially affecting hormones and contributing to bacterial resistance they have never been shown to be more effective than washing with plain soap and water Anti-Bacterial Chemicals in More than Just Soap These chemicals were originally developed for use in healthcare settings, where the risk of infection is higher and use of the substances more controlled. But in recent years, manufacturers

Prevention and Treatment of Bug Bites

DEET “The current American Academy of Pediatrics and Center for Disease Control recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.” (2016 Summer Safety Tips, AAP). Some animal studies showed increased risk of seizure and neurological damage so many people are concerned about using DEET. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says: “After reviewing the evidence, EWG has concluded that DEET is generally safer than many people assume and remains a viable option for people in areas infested with disease-carrying pests.”

Seasonal Allergies

When people ask me how I treat allergies, I often answer “it depends.” As a functional medicine doctor, I treat the cause of the symptoms instead of managing the symptoms. Because even seasonal allergies can have many different possible causes, there are also many possible treatments. Seasonal Allergies In pharmaceutical medicine, seasonal allergies are treated with an antihistamine. Antihistamines block the signal that your immune cells send out when they encounter an allergen. The antihistamines stop the allergic response at one of the last steps of the process. In functional medicine, seasonal allergies are treated based on asking why the

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