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emilymiller's blog

Written by: Lisa E Murray, RDN, LD

Welcome to 2016! Almost one month in, how are you doing with the commitments you have made to your health this year? If you are struggling you are not alone.

I love the New Year. Letting go, looking ahead, we take the time to reflect on our lives and create a vision for the future. Instead of the firm and traditional New Years Resolution that you may have made this year already... I invite you to try a more fluid approach. Lets begin with a simple question..

Although most of us are excited to see those first spring and summer blooms, others have mixed feelings. The onset of itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, headaches, and fatigue has them running for air-conditioned rooms and over the counter prescription medications. Allergies are a common issue that many people deal with. In treating allergies, I believe that there are a number of directions you can take and for many people that may mean addressing allergies through diet, lifestyle, and supportive supplements.

Some parents are blessed with GREAT eaters! I had a mother in my office recently who said that her kids chew on Kale for fun! I had a moment of envy rush over me! For the rest of us, who are not blessed with naturally great eaters, creativity is the key to making sure our children have a well-rounded diet, most of the time.

Did you know that children today are given 48 different vaccinations by the time that they are five years old? When I was a child, we vaccinated against seven different diseases and currently that number has doubled (and I am not that old)! Childhood immunizations are a controversial and emotional topic for parents, caregivers, and pediatricians with both pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine proponents making many false claims and using fear tactics. I propose a new method including transparency, scientific evidence, and individual consideration.

Chronic pain, fatigue, and rashes are some of the most common complaints that I see in my practice. These symptoms, as well as: muscle and joint pain, headaches, edema, PMS, and digestive complaints can all be symptoms of chronic inflammation. The intelligent human body has the innate ability to heal itself and inflammation is part of the healing process. When damage occurs our body produces cytokines, such as interleukins and prostaglandins. These immune mediators act as messengers and help to move white blood cells and immunglobulins to the damaged area and cleanse the waste.

Beyond flu shots and antibiotics, conventional medicine has very little to offer for treating and preventing colds and flu. There is much much more. Your immune system is a complex system working 24 hours a day to protect you. There are many lifestyle factors that have been shown to strengthen and weaken the immune system. Sugar, stress, and lack of sleep have been shown to have debilitating affects on the immune system. Vitamins such as vitamin A, E and C all have been proven to increase our bodies defenses and healing capabilities.

Driving up and down Central Avenue in Dover, NH I am amazed at the number of signs for walk in flu shots. Many of my patients have questions about whether or not the Flu vaccine is right for them. According to research the flu vaccine is effective at reducing symptoms of Influenza, however, the vaccine is only as good as how well it is matched to the live viruses we are exposed to within a season. Therefore this efficacy can range from 10% in some seasons to 50% in others.

It’s Time for a Detoxifying Spring Cleanse!