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Growing Families

Treating Cold and Flu Symptoms

Treating Fevers, a Symptom of Cold or Flu

“My temperature is 101! Where is my ibuprofen?”

Is this your first reaction to a fever? It might not be the best action to take.

Why Taking Medicine to Reduce a Fever Might Not Be the Best Approach

A fever is the body’s natural reaction to fight off an infection, like a cold or the flu. A fever is a symptom of an illness, but not an illness itself.

Many illness-causing germs thrive at or below the body's normal temperature. Two purposes of a fever are:

  • A fever increases the body’s temperature beyond the limit that invading microbes need to reproduce.
  • A fever kicks your immune system into high gear, increasing the number of white blood cells which help fight the actual illness.

 

For most adults, 102-103 degrees is the ideal temperature for the body to kill off these microbes. (source)  Research shows that letting a fever run its course may reduce the length and severity of illnesses such as colds and flu.

 

Furthermore, conventional methods of reducing a fever can do more harm than good. Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil and Motrin (ibuprofin)  all have side effects (read a long list on the package) that includes liver damage in adults and children, especially when taken frequently. Medications are foreign substances, which the body has to metabolize and filter. This requires energy that the body could be using to fight the actual illness that led to the fever in the first place.

What About Other Cold and Flu Symptoms?

There are many ways that our bodies fight off illness caused by viruses and bacteria. Coughing, sneezing, nasal mucous, vomiting, and diarrhea are ways that your body gets rid of pathogens. Taking medications to suppress these symptoms can slow down our bodies natural processes healing itself.

Read more ...

Well Adjusted Babies: Using Chiropractic for Constipation

Use Chiropractic to Help Consitpated BabiesMost people think of a chiropractic adjustment as a treatment to relieve back pain. Did you know that infants can benefit from chiropractic care??

What are babies known for doing? Eating, sleeping, and pooping, right?

If my 6 month old goes a day without pooping, I know that it is time to check out her spine. This has happened 4 times in her life! Each time, I found that the top of her intergluteal cleft (more commonly known as the "butt crack") had veered to one side or the other. This tells me that her sacrum isn't quite balanced, which can impact her colon. The adjustment for this is a soft contact on a certain ligament at the base of the sacrum with Logan Basic Technique. It is a gentle procedure, with a powerful impact.  I am 4/4 on helping her to have a bowel movement within an hour of this adjustment, and twice it happened within 5 minutes!

Chiropractic can also help with reflux, colicky babies, or babies that prefer to turn their heads one direction.

Think about the process of being born. Whether the baby comes out naturally, gets taken out with forceps or vacuum suction, or is a C-section, birth is a traumatic event for a tiny human. Since babies can't talk, crying is their only way to tell us that they are uncomfortable. If you have or know a baby that cries more than you'd expect, they might be feeling after effects from their birth. A simple adjustment might help!

Chiropractic is also important during later transitions like learning to walk, since the baby is constantly falling on their bum.

Want to learn more? Chat with us on Facebook, or shoot Dr. Thomure an email! 

Dr. Jamie Thomure 


 

Introducing Harper Rose Thomure!

We are so excited to introduce you to Dr. Jamie's new baby girl, Harper Rose Thomure!! She made her debut Monday at 3:42 pm, 7 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long!! Mom and baby are doing well!Harper Rose

 

Pregnancy Series Part 4- Decreasing Back Pain

It has been found that about 50-70% of women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy. It is easy to see understand how this would happen since the average weight gain is 25-35 pounds. As the woman’s center of gravity moves forward, the curve in her low back increases. This, in addition to hormonal changes, can cause severe back pain.

Many women have no idea what to do in this situation because they don’t want to take medicine that can be harmful to the baby. Here are some basic exercises and strategies that are not only helpful for reducing pain, but are great for preparing the body for delivery.

Specific Exercises

cat camelCat/Camel exercise

  1. Cat/Camel- Start on your hands and knees, and move back up to a flexed position, and then down to an extended position. Alternate between these positions (within a comfortable range) ten times. Do this several times throughout the day. Not only with this help with back mobility and core stability, but it helps the uterus to move up and off the pelvic floor slightly.This is especially beneficial before bed because it can remove some pressure off of your bladder, and allow you to not have to get up quite as frequently throughout the night to urinate. Not Pregnant? This is still a great exercise for anyone experiencing back pain!
  2. Squatting- Spending some time in a deep squat position daily is great to work hip mobility, and opening up the pelvis in preparation for delivery. Try to get your heels on the ground. Your spine should be in a neutral position and not flexed forward, so it should not bother your lower back in any way. Try to work your way up to at least 30 seconds to a minute of holding this position daily. squatDr. Thomure squatting at 39 weeks pregnant
  3. Sitting Cross Legged- This is a healthy and natural position for the lower back. It also allows the uterus to move forward increasing circulation and stretching the inner thighs.

What else can I do?

  • Get regular low impact exercise such as walking or swimming at least 3 times a week. Try for at least 30 minutes.
  • Avoid high heels, instead wear flat comfortable shoes with good arch support.
  • Use a pregnancy or body pillow when sleeping, and try to sleep on left side.
  • Wear a support belt under lower abdomen. This can help if pelvis is feeling unstable once ligaments are becoming more lax during later pregnancy.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors can offer all natural relief to back pain in this situation. According to the American Pregnancy Association, seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy can help with

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
  • Controlling symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
  • Relieving back, neck or joint pain
  • Prevent a potential cesarean delivery

How often should I see a chiropractor during pregnancy?

Obviously every patient is different, but Dr. Thomure typically recommends coming about as often as a woman sees her OB. This would mean approximately once a month during the first trimester, 1-2x/month during the second trimester, and 2-4x/month during the third trimester.

Article By Jamie Thomure DC

Pregnancy Series Part 3- How to Avoid Annoying Skin Conditions like Stretch Marks, Dry skin, and Breakouts

While this is an article for those of us who are or are thinking about becoming pregnant, it is also important for EVERYONE to read! Most people suffer from some sort of skin condition over the course of their life. This could be anything from acne, to dry skin, to rashes, to psoriasis.

If you watch the news or commercials, you probably think that the only way to combat these problems is with the latest and greatest cream, lotion, steroid, antibiotic, or miracle product. This could not be further from the truth!!! Our skin is a reflection of what is going on under the surface in our bodies.

If we have been eating an inflammatory diet (processed foods, refined sugars etc), this will likely lead to skin reactions! Remember, these inflammatory foods include many items often touted as “Healthy” such as skim milk, low fat yogurt, granola bars, and pretzels. Food is the only fuel that our cells have- and the skin is made of layers of cells! If we aren’t nourishing our bodies with good food, our skin cells are going to reflect that! As they say- you are what you eat! If you need a reminder of what these “good foods” are- check out the first article in the series here!

pregnant bellyGrowing Belly- Still stretch mark free at 38 weeks!

My Top Rule of Skin Care- If I wouldn’t put it in my mouth, I won’t put it on my skin! Just like when I am in the grocery store, I READ THE LABELS. If a product is made of all sorts of processed chemical ingredients that I can’t pronounce or wouldn’t eat, why would I want to absorb them through my approximately 35 billion skin cells!

One of my favorite quote’s about skin care come from the book “Skintervention” by Liz Wolfe NTP. “Beauty starts from the inside and good nutrition is absolutely critical to healthy skin. Anyone who tells you differently, or claims you can beautify or heal your skin or body without good nutrition is absolutely wrong- and probably trying to sell you a product line.”

Stretch marks-

Stretch marks occur when the body is growing faster than the skin can keep up with. Clearly this is happening with a rapidly expanding belly during pregnancy, but is there anything you can do about it? Many studies have shown that belly creams, salves, and balms do not cause a reduction in stretch marks! While many sources say that it is all about having good genes and good luck, I truly believe there are things that you can do to improve the elasticity of your skin. These involve giving it the proper nutrients that it needs to repair and stretch quickly. 

Which foods in particular would do this? Foods that are high in collagen (bone broth!), foods high in vitamins A, C, and E, and having a balanced omega 3 to 6 ratio! So what should you be eating? Homemade soups! Gelatin! Nutrient dense good sources of proteins, fats (especially fish for the omega 3s), and lots of multi colored vegetables! Remember, just because you are taking a prenatal vitamin, doesn’t mean that you are off the hook in terms of getting your body and your baby good dense sources of nutritious wholesome food. You can’t supplement yourself out of a bad diet! Staying hydrated throughout pregnancy is also important.  

Dry Brushing-

Another thing that you can do to help prevent stretch marks is Dry Brushing. Basically all you do is take a brush made of natural fibers such as this, and brush your dry skin before showering from your fingers and toes toward your heart. This stimulates the lymphatic system to promote drainage, and to help with detoxification. Here is a video that shows how to do it and explains it in a little bit more detail! As an added bonus, doing this also helps to reduce cellulite!

Dry skin-

My advice here is going to be very similar to my advice for avoiding stretch marks. Dry skin during pregnancy can be caused by dehydration, or because nutrients that you normally get are going to the baby. Eating a healthy diet is so important during pregnancy especially because your body is going to prioritize the baby. They baby will get what it needs to grow and thrive- but if there are gaps in your nutrition, you will be the one that takes the hit for it.

Specifically, if you are suffering from dry skin, make sure you are eating enough fat! According to this article, when the skin feels dry, it often means that there is an imbalance or deficiency of fats (and often too high an intake of carbohydrates). Now this isn’t just any old fats we are talking about. Make sure they are the good sources from animals and plants- think coconut, avocado, fish, butter, etc. (and not trans-fats or highly processed fats make in a factory).

Acne-

There are several causes of acne. It is an inflammatory condition, so putting all of the “good things” into your body, and avoiding the processed junk to reduce inflammation is once again crucial.

Most people associate acne with the teenage years when our bodies are going through significant hormonal changes. Unfortunately, pregnancy is another one of those times in life where our hormones are often shifting quite a bit, and for some people, this can mean increased acne or skin breakouts. For others, they actually notice their skin clearing up.

Your hormone levels fluctuate quite a bit during pregnancy, and for some people it seems like some amount of skin breakouts are inevitable. My advice for you would be to do what you can to keep your inflammation levels in your body down (which can have a HUGE impact), and try not to worry about the hormonal skin changes.

Common Misconceptions about acne

1. I have skin problems because my body isn’t clean-

Blemishes occur because of internal imbalances. Ask anyone who has struggled with acne- I bet they will tell you that washing their face more and more doesn’t help- and could actually make it worse

2. I need to use expensive products to have great skin-

Your skin is a living organ (the largest organ in the body actually). It will is not just a barrier, but it will absorb everything you put on it. If you are putting all sorts of products on it with long names that you can’t pronounce, it will absorb those too! There is an AWESOME book all about this called Skintervention by Liz Wolfe, and in this book she recommends 3 simple and natural   products for skin care (along with healthy diet and lifestyle). These are Baking Soda (aluminum free), Apple Cider Vinegar, and Coconut oil.  You can read all out how to use these products in the book! When you are thinking about what to put on your skin, the first question I ask, is “would I eat this?” because that is virtually what is happening through the absorption process. If the answer is no, why would you want to slather it on your skin to get absorbed?

3. If I have problem skin, I should never use oil on my skin.

Putting something like natural coconut or olive  oil on skin can actually help to balance out the oils on your skin. Remember, your skin is going to take in whatever you rub on in it. It is very good at trying to do a balancing act however, so adding oil to your skin can make it produce less oils on its own.

Give yourself Grace-

I wish I could guarantee that by following our advice, you wouldn’t get any unpleasant symptoms during your pregnancy, but that is simply not always the case. It is important to realize that during pregnancy that there is a lot going on in your body. You can’t always control everything. If you are doing what you can to eat as healthy as you can, get sleep, reduce stress levels, and move your body, give yourself grace and accept that your body might do some funny things that are out of your control. Enjoy the ride, and try not to sweat the small stuff! 

Article by Jamie Thomure, DC

Pregnancy Series Part 2: Pregnancy and Digestion

Naturally Minimizing Nausea, Constipation, and Heartburn

Prevent Nausea, Constipation, and HeatrburnBefore we get into the specifics of pregnancy and digestion, for anyone wanting a healthy pregnancy, first following the diet and lifestyle components that we discussed in the first post is critical.  In fact, often doing those things will eliminate these other common pregnancy complaints.

Ok, back to pregnancy and digestion. Because each of these digestive conditions are unique and have different causes in the body, we will cover ways to naturally minimize nausea, constipation, and heartburn individually.

Nausea

This unfortunate side effect in pregnancy is experienced by up to 90% of pregnant women ranging from food aversions, nausea, and vomiting, according to Midwife Meghanne Reburn. Thankfully, this symptom is typically constrained to the first trimester and can by managed with some easy actions.

The most common argument for why pregnant women experience nausea and food aversions are to protect themselves from potential unwanted toxic or harmful food that could affect the growing baby. The most common aversion that women experience is to meat, which is the place that the most bacteria and parasites would reside in the food of our ancestors before modern storage techniques were developed. The body, in its genius, knows that these are potentially harmful substances and through aversions and nausea specifically lets the woman know to stay away!  This is why women have a hypersensitive sense of smell during pregnancy, so they can sniff out any potentially rotten food to avoid.  However, we know that meat is an important part of a healthy diet so check out the helpful food tips at the bottom for ways to include more protein in your diet.

Additionally, women tend to experience more drastic symptoms of nausea when blood sugar levels are low. In general, the blood sugar levels in pregnant women run higher than normal to supply enough energy to the growing baby.  Therefore, when blood sugar drops, the body uses nausea to signal to the woman to eat because the baby needs some more fuel. Because of this, it is important that during pregnancy to not let yourself get too hungry as this could cause a sudden and unwanted bout of nausea and sickness.

Helpful Food Tips to Reduce Symptoms of Nausea:

  • Always carry snacks with you to prevent yourself from getting too hungry (nuts, hard boiled eggs, veggies and guacamole, or fruit with nut butter are good options)
  • Creamy foods tend to be easier for women to tolerate in the first trimester – I lived off of cauliflower mash, full fat yogurt, avocado pudding, and baked sweet potatoes with butter.
  • Scrambled eggs are a good alternative to meat. Extra yolks are great for adding important nutrients.
  • Smoothies made with full fat coconut milk, nuts or nut butter, fruit, greens, and some gelatin to keep blood sugar stabilized.
  • Sip on some bone broth throughout the day is a great way to increase nutrients and avoid nausea.
  • Small amounts of ginger root have been known to be effective in reducing nausea.

Constipation

That’s right, we are going to talk about poop. Pregnancy related constipation effects around 40% of women at some point. This constipation is caused by those lovely pregnancy hormones, specifically progesterone. During pregnancy, your body produces more progesterone. The main job of progesterone during pregnancy is to relax muscles. The relaxing effects of progesterone balance out the muscular uterus and prevent you from going into premature labor. A very important and necessary job! Unfortunately, progesterone’s muscle relaxing powers can also have the same affect on other parts of the body, like relaxing the muscle contraction (peristalsis) of the colon. Peristalsis contributes to easy to pass stools, so when it is relaxed; those stools have a harder time coming out.  

What can I do about it?

  • Remove processed foods to help your bowels function most efficiently
  • Drink plenty of water, which helps to make stools softer and easier to pass
  • Engage in light exercise like walking or yoga, this can stimulate peristalsis and more regular bowel movements
  • Magnesium supplementation stimulates peristalsis by drawing water into your bowels. I’ve had tremendous success with Natural Calm Magnesium sold at most health food stores.  With magnesium supplementation, start small (begin with 1/2 tsp and work your way up to 2 tsp) if you notice loose stools, lower your dose.
  • Healthy gut flora can aid bowel movements tremendously. You can increase your beneficial gut flora by eating plenty of probiotic rich food like whole milk yogurt, kefir, or sauerkraut and taking a quality probiotic supplement.

Heartburn

That darn progesterone is at it again, this time moving its relaxing powers to the esophageal sphincter. This is the muscle between your esophagus and your stomach that ensures that once food is swallowed, it stays in the stomach along with all of the acid in the stomach needed for proper digestion. When progesterone relaxes this sphincter, it can cause it to open letting acid from the stomach up into the esophagus (aka heartburn). This, in combination with the growing baby pushing up on your stomach leaving a smaller area for food cause this very common pregnancy system, especially later in gestation.

It is important to remember that heartburn is not caused by the stomach producing too much stomach acid. This acid is crucial for the proper digestion of food. The heartburn is simply caused by the relaxation of the sphincter that holds that acid where it should. Therefore, I would not suggest taking antacids or other heartburn medication as this can cause poor digestion and sub optimal ability for the body to absorb nutrients. Check out this great video to learn more about the importance of stomach acid in digestion.

Instead, try these simple tips to help keep heartburn at bay:

  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day to prevent excess food in the stomach and a greater likelihood of heartburn.
  • Avoid drinking with meals as this can also cause the stomach to be overly full, leading to heartburn. Instead, drink water throughout the day. As a bonus, this will help with hydration and bowel movements.
  • Eat SLOWLY and chew your food well. I know this can be difficult for a hungry, pregnant women but it can work wonders at preventing heartburn and other digestive stress.
  • Sit after meals, don’t lay or sleep. This is simply letting gravity do its job.
  • Keep a food journal for a few days and keep track of what foods trigger heartburn and avoid these.

Keep in mind that these symptoms are extremely common in pregnant women. By eating a nutrient dense diet and reducing stress like we talked about in this post and following the suggestions listed here should greatly help in reducing these unpleasant pregnancy side effects. Have more questions or want to learn more? We’d love to hear from you!

Article by: Joelle Kurczodyna, NTP

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29333334@N06/3158385504

References: Reburn, Meghanne. "Troubleshooting Your Digestive Issues: Tips for Common Digestive Issues in Pregnancy (part 4)." Balanced Bites. N.p., 30 June 2013. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.