September 2009 Newsletter
Welcome to our newest WCW family member!
Congratulations to Kandice and Scott Stellmon on the arrival of their beautiful daughter, Davi Kate Stellmon.
She arrived on August 18, 2009, weighing in at 6 pounds including a full head of hair! Everyone is doing great!
Kandice will be back in the office in November. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free
to call our office and we’ll do our best to assist you.
And soon to arrive…
Dr. Song and Peter Johnson will soon celebrate
the arrival of their first child! Their daughter
is expected to arrive on January 1st. Of course,
not knowing exactly when
she might decide to come, Dr. Song will only see
sick visits starting December 7, 2009.
She will return from maternity leave on March
1, 2010. In the meantime, Dr. Sandy Newmark and
Dr. Ann Wolf will be available
for any well and sick visits that are
needed. If you need appointments with Dr. Song
prior to her maternity leave, please plan ahead
and schedule an appointment before December 7th.
Dr. Song will look forward
to seeing everyone in the New Year!
Toddlers & Preschoolers: Dealing with Eating & Food Issues
Getting kids to eat healthily, on time, neatly, or at all can be a challenge for a surprising number of
parents. Success depends on having developmentally appropriate expectations, an
understanding of the way your child’s temperament contributes to his or her relationship to food
and a knack for avoiding power struggles. In this discussion, psychologists and experts in child
development, Lele Diamond, MFT and Noelle Cochran, PsyD, of Symbio, will present general
guidelines for handling food issues based on age and temperament; and will address questions
on a case-by-case basis.
For more information about Lele and Noelle, visit their website at: www.symbiosf.com
||Tuesday October 6th at 7pm
||$45/person or $65/couple
||Whole Child Wellness
1601 El Camino Real, Suite 101
Belmont, CA 94002
|Please register directly with Symbio:
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or
H1N1 influenza is here
It’s true. H1N1, or the “swine flu”, is already here, and we’ve already seen many cases throughout the
Bay Area. The good news is that most cases have been relatively mild, and the vast majority of patients
experience mild symptoms and make a full recovery within a week, without any medical treatment,
according to WHO Director Margaret Chan. In recent outbreaks among schools, the illness has been found
to be fairly mild, with most kids having fever and generalized malaise for only a few days. So while we
are seeing H1N1 influenza now, and will very likely see more throughout this winter season, the bottom line
On the other hand, while H1N1 influenza does not appear to be nearly as serious as has
been portrayed in the media, H1N1 does appear to be highly contagious. So read on to find out how to help
your children stay as healthy as possibly during this cold/flu season.
How can I protect my child from H1N1 influenza?
The first step in protecting our children from H1N1 influenza, or any infection for that matter, is
common-sense prevention. These include:
Apart from these common-sense measures, there are many ways that we can support our, and our children’s,
immune systems during these upcoming winter months. Make sure to drink plenty of water and stay
well-hydrated. Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables to maximize your antioxidant intake.
Avoid refined sugar and processed/junk food. Get plenty of fresh air and daily exercise – even if
it’s just a 15-minute walk! Be sure to sleep your fill and minimize stress, as this will enhance your
body’s ability to effectively fight infections.
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often, especially before eating or
touching your face, or after sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm when coughing or sneezing, not with your hand.
- Avoid contact with others if you or they are ill, for at least 24 hours after being fever-free.
We also recommend that you ensure that you and your child are receiving adequate amounts of the following
to provide optimal support for your immune system:
Arabinogalactan is a natural sugar derived from the bark of the larch tree that enhances “natural killer
cell” activity – these cells are part of our first line of defense against any invading organism.
Taking arabinogalactan daily during the winter cold/flu season can provide helpful protection against any
winter bug. Herbal medicines such as Astragalus can also assist our immune system’s ability to fight
off infections. While Echinacea and Elderberry are also great immune-boosting herbs, there has been some
concern expressed with their use for H1N1 influenza infection as some of the more serious complications
from an overly active immune response (often referred to as a “cytokine storm”) may theoretically be
triggered. For now, we are recommending their use with caution.
- Fish oil
- Probiotics (see the summary of a new research article below with exciting new health benefits of probiotics)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
For specific recommendations on treating your child’s immune system, please call to schedule a
consultation visit with your doctor. We plan to offer a repeat of our Holistic Management of Cold and
Flu class that we offered last year, probably in November.
When should my child see the doctor?
Typical symptoms of H1N1 influenza, like all other forms of influenza, may include fevers, body aches,
headache, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and possibly also vomiting and diarrhea. While H1N1 influenza
is most commonly a self-limited illness, some serious complications can arise, including dehydration,
subsequent bacterial infections (pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections), and worsening of chronic
medical conditions such as asthma. You should seek out medical attention for your child if they have:
There are various homeopathic and herbal medicines that may help to shorten the duration and severity
of illness. Depending on your child’s specific symptoms, these options may include homeopathic medicines
such as Belladonna, Gelsemium, Bryonia, Oscillococcinum by Boiron, and SyInfect by Syntrion; and herbal
medicines such as Windbreaker by Kan Herbs. Please call your pediatrician for more specific advice to help
your child with his/her specific flu symptoms.
- Fever for more than 3-4 days
- Confusion, excessive drowsiness
- Inconsolability, excessive irritability
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Dehydration (no urine for more than 6-8 hours)
When should I consider Tamiflu?
Tamiflu is a prescription antiviral medication that is available for treatment and prevention of
influenza infection. When taken within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, Tamiflu may
shorten the duration of illness by 1-2 days and prevent serious complications. Its side effects
can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bronchitis, abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, insomnia,
and fatigue. Treatment with Tamiflu is generally not needed for healthy children and adults.
However, there are some patients who are considered at higher risk for influenza-related complications
that may benefit from its administration. According to the CDC, these higher-risk populations are:
When used to prevent the flu, Tamiflu has been found to be about 70-90% effective. Using Tamiflu
for prevention of H1N1 infection in people who have been exposed to a known case of H1N1 may be
considered for those who are at higher risk for complications. Tamiflu should not be used if more
than 48 hours have passed since exposure, and does not guarantee that you will not get infected.
Tamiflu is not recommended for prevention of illness in healthy children or adults based on potential
exposure in community, school, camp, or other settings. In addition, there are no safety data on long
term or frequent use of Tamiflu or other antiviral agents in children.
- Children younger than 2 years of age
- Adults 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- People with the following conditions:
- Chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except high blood pressure),
renal, hepatic, hematologic, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders
- Immunosupression, including that caused by medication or by HIV
- People younger than 19 years receiving long-term aspirin therapy
What about the H1N1 vaccine?
H1N1 is a “novel” or new strain of influenza A, but the current influenza vaccine will not provide
protection again H1N1 infection. The H1N1 vaccine is slated to be available by mid-October.
The California Department of Public Health is working to distribute the H1N1 vaccine to hospitals and
clinics, and will first distribute the vaccine to those serving high-risk populations. These will
likely include patients with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, and children under 3 years of age.
We do not know if/when H1N1 vaccine will be available to our clinic but will keep all of our patients
apprised as we get more information.
At the moment, we have no idea what other chemicals will be included in the vaccine, and there has
been mention of thimerosal, squalene, and stronger “adjuvants” – many of whose safety profiles
concern us. Once we know exactly what is in the H1N1 vaccine, we will be sure to keep all of our
patients informed and aware of our recommendations.
New Research: Probiotics prevent cold and flulike symptoms
In a very interesting study just published in the Journal Pediatrics, researchers found that taking
probiotics 2x/day from November through May drastically decreased the incidence of fevers, coughs, and
runny nose in 3 to 5 year olds. The study was done in China, and involved 326 children. 110 children
were given a probiotic with Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM alone. 112 children were given a combination
probiotic with Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactic Bi-07, and 104
children were given a placebo. Compared to the placebo group, the children who took the probiotic with
only Lactobacillus had 53% reduced incidence of fever, 41% reduced incidence of cough, and 28% reduced
incidence of runny nose. Those who took the probiotic with combined Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium
had even better results – 72 % less fever, 62% less cough, and 59% less runny nose!
The particular combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium used in this study is found in Ultra
Flora Plus, a probiotic made by Metagenics. Ultra Flora Plus is available in our office, although
other high quality probiotics may work just as well to support the immune system in this way.
One thing to remember is that this study did not specifically address the incidence of influenza, so we
do not know if the probiotics decreased the incidence of this disease or only other viral respiratory
infections. It would seem logical that it would decrease the incidence of influenza as well, but we
do not know this for sure. In any case, taking probiotics seems like a good idea for fending off those
winter respiratory infections!