Oct/Nov 2013

House Call

Allergies Q & A- Asthma Every Autumn, Skin Test, & More!

Every year between Halloween and Christmas, I develop respiratory problems that often lead to full-blown pneumonia. This keeps getting worse the older I get. Last year, I came down with asthmatic bronchitis and lost over three weeks of work. Could this possibly be an allergy—but to what? What should I do?   More...

Research Roundup: Allergic to Chalk, Gluten-Free Diet for IBS, & More!

Classroom chalk containing casein can trigger respiratory symptoms in milk-allergic children, say researchers from the Hospital Marina Baixa in Spain. They studied a group of 12 milk-allergic children and found that all were sensitized to the chalk (allergy testing was positive). In four of the children, the chalk dust triggered wheezing, coughing and sneezing. Symptoms improved when the chalk was switched to a brand that didn’t contain casein.   More...

Bad Mood

Subscribers Only — Eleven-year-old Gabriela was built differently from her mother. She was perhaps five to ten pounds overweight but next to her mother who was reed-thin, the extra ounces appeared disproportionally excessive. Devin, her nine-year-old brother, was wiry and thin like his mother. He was dragged along ostensibly to discuss how the whole family could eat better and his relaxed demeanor suggested he knew the session was not about him. I suspected the unspoken reason for the visit was Gabriela’s weight.   More...

Pure and Simple

[IMGCAP(1)] Natural plant oils have been used for centuries to clean, protect and moisturize skin and hair. From exotic argan and jojoba to everyday olive and sunflower, oils are as popular today as they were in ancient times. Many cosmetic companies have developed whole product lines around certain oils. Natural plant oils are similar to our own skin oil, or sebum. This is why they’re so beneficial for our skin. In fact, natural oils are some of…   More...