Dhurga Reddy, ND
November 2009
In This Issue
Pacific Naturopathic Welcomes Two New Associates
Preventing the Flu
Keeping Kids Healthy Through the Cold and Flu Season
The Swine (H1N1) Flu Vaccine Disaster
The Intelligence Behind a Fever
Immune Boosting Ginger Soup
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You're Invited!
Pacific Naturopathic is holding an Open House event on Thursday, December 3rd from 5:30-8:00pm.  Please join us as we celebrate the new changes at our clinic and enjoy healthy holiday treats while getting to know our new doctors, Dr. Agatha and Dr. Dhurga.

Schedule an Appointment:
To schedule an appointment with any of the practitioners at Pacific Naturopathic, please call the front desk at 650-857-0226.  The office is open M-F 9am-5pm.  It is closed, daily, from 12-1:30pm.  We look forward to hearing from you!


We hope this newsletter finds you healthy and well!

This month, we are excited to bring you the first of our monthly newsletters, and to share with you about the new changes that have been happening at Pacific Naturopathic in the past few months, with the addition of our two new associates.  Please read on to learn more about our new associates Dr. Agatha Constance and Dr. Dhurga Reddy.   Drs. Agatha and Dhurga join our two founding naturopathic doctors, Drs.Connie Hernandez and Marcel Hernandez, internist Dr. Shanti Rubenstone, and healer Elijah Free

We are also very happy to bring you information this month to help you and your family make informed decisions about how to prevent infection with the seasonal flu and swine flu, and to prepare your body's immune system for our transition into the winter season.

In health,

Your team at Pacific Naturopathic
Pacific Naturopathic Welcomes Two New Associates!

     Pacific Naturopathic is pleased to welcome Dr. Agatha and Dr. Dhurga, two Naturopathic Doctors from Seattle Washington, who practice primary care naturopathic medicine.  Dr. Agatha specializes in Naturopathic Pediatrics.  She helps families create a strong and healthy foundation for their children, and helps restore the health of your little ones by gentling stimulating their systems towards health.  Dr. Dhurga specializes in cardiovascular disease and women's health.  She gives her patients alternative options to help reduce their risk of heart disease.  She also helps patients balance their hormones so that they have healthy cycles and smooth transitions through puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.  Dr. Dhurga also offers individualized yoga therapy appointments at our clinic, please visit her website for more information. 
     Our new associates would like to emphasize the importance of preventive health, and are therefore offering well woman physical exams for a special rate.  You may call the front desk to schedule an appointment with either of them to have your annual gyn and breast exam at a special low rate.  Dr. Agatha and Dr. Reddy are also offering a special introductory rate for regular Naturopathic Medicine visits this fall.  Please visit our website for these rates, and call our front desk at 650-857-0226 to schedule an appointment.

Preventing the Flu
~Connie Hernandez, ND

Connie Hernandez, ND
News media are flooded these days with frightening predictions of catastrophic epidemics and escalating deaths from flu viruses, the H1N1 virus in particular. Our Pacific Naturopathic office, consequently, is fielding calls from concerned patients as to what they can do to prevent the flu. 

Putting things in naturopathic perspective, we remember that, in prevention of infection, there are always two factors to consider. One is the virulence of the microbe (in this case a virus), and the other is the receptivity of the host. The H1N1 virus has not shown itself to be particularly virulent, as compared to other flu viruses. It is the concern that the virus might become a super virus that has borders closing, schools shutting their doors, and hospitals denying non patient visits to children under 16.

It does make sense to stay out of the way of the virus. In many cultures, gauze face masks are worn out of courtesy when a person suspects they are contagious and need to be out and about. Others wear the masks in crowded contained spaces such as subways or airplanes. Given that we don't tend to do that, we can still protect ourselves to some degree. Not sharing telephones, pens, silverware and personal items with others is one good idea. And frequent hand washing and not touching hands to face is an effective way to avoid contact. 

The H1N1 virus enters the body through the nose, mouth, and throat. Gargling with salt water twice a day, and using your neti pot or saline nasal spray to rinse your nasal cavities can prevent the virus from settling in and proliferating in your body. Drinking plenty of water or herbal tea has a synergistic effect, rinsing the virus away into the stomach, where it cannot survive.

You can do a number of things to ensure that any virus that makes it past the avoidance and initial defenses does not thrive in your body. Optimal levels of vitamin D are protective against the flu. Ideally, as part of your wellness plan, you will have had your 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels checked, and will be taking an appropriate dose of vitamin D3. If not, you can safely take 2000 IU vitamin D3 daily as a kind of insurance policy.

Blood sugar control is essential to immune protection as sugar acidifies the body, promotes the growth of unfriendly organisms, and incapacitates white blood cells, Children get sick at Halloween, not because they're out in the cold with other children, but because their immune systems are suppressed by the Halloween candy. So stay away from those sugar treats!

Exercise oxygenates the blood and supports the immune system. Exercise in fresh air gives the added benefit of stabilizing your body's electromagnetic field through contact with the earth, and vitalizing you through the healing rays of the sun. Exercise with intentional breathwork directs healing energy through the energy meridians in your body.

Beyond these lifestyle techniques, there are combination homeopathics which are used for flu prevention and flu treatment; botanical remedies which strengthen the immune system; and nutrtitional and glandular support to optimize all body systems.  If you are low in B12, folic acid, or iron, you will be more prone to infection, and will stay sick longer. If your thyroid function is not optimal, the same will be true. If you are uncertain about your nutritional status or your immune functioning in general, it is wise to consult a trusted health practitioner to formulate an individualized plan to support yourself through the flu season and beyond.

  Keeping Kids Healthy Through the Cold and Flu Season
~ Agatha Constance, ND

Agatha Constance, ND
 The winter months, when cold and flu viruses flow through our communities, provide an opportune time to make sure that children have the natural tools to help keep them well. Disease prevention and optimizing health begins with the basics: making sure children are getting plenty of sleep, water, exercise, and nutritious foods. A recent poll by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that only 14% of adults and 9.5% of high school students are eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables! Diets rich in fruits and vegetables help boost your child's immune system, while excess sugar and fatty foods can temporarily hamper the immune system. A high quality multivitamin and vitamin C can also be helpful. Stress is known to decrease immune function, so helping your child keep up with homework and talking through issues can help keep them healthy. Review the importance of frequent and thorough hand washing, and make sure kids cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbows (not just their hands). Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a great way to cut back on germs, but be sure your child knows how to properly use them.
If your child does catch a cold, encourage them to drink them plenty of water to maintain energy, help to thin secretions and make breathing easier. Avoiding dairy and citrus can decrease mucous production. Naturally anti-viral fruits such as elderberry and blueberry can decrease the duration of a cold or flu. Although it should be avoided in babies younger than 12 months, honey has been shown to help reduce cold symptoms. This is useful because cold medications are not recommended in children younger than two.

  The Swine (H1N1) Flu Vaccine Disaster
~Marcel Hernandez, ND

Marcel Hernandez, NDChoosing whether or not to get the H1N1 vaccine is a significant decision. And it's not an easy one to make because of the monstrous pressure from public health authorities for universal vaccinations.   The media, of course, is very comfortable taking an issue and generating mass fear. 

At Pacific Naturopathic, we are not against vaccinations.  What makes us uncomfortable is the medically unproven injections of toxins into the body in hopes that the vaccine will promote health. Here are the facts.

The efficacy of flu vaccines is controversial because they are based on the previous year's flu virus strain.  In addition, flu vaccines target only three particular viral strains.  The H1N1 vaccine is developed to target a specific strain of the virus in the hope that it will have an effect on a more virulent strain.  Again, there is no to little crossover protection from one virus strain to another. 

There are four different H1N1 vaccine manufacturers, including the nasal spray form.  Some of the FDA approved ingredients in the vaccines (which can vary from one to another) include:

� thimerosal - a mercury-based preservative suspected in playing a role
  in autism and neurologic disorders. Intranasal vaccines do not contain
  thimerosal, nor does the single dose vaccine.
� Live, attenuated virus
� Monosodium glutamate.  Though in minute quantities in the vaccine, 
  in large quantities, MSG is a known neurotoxin and excitotoxin.
� Egg proteins
� Sucrose (table sugar)
� Dibasic potassium phosphate
� Monobasic potassium phosphate
� Gentamicin sulfate (antibiotic)
� Polymyxin (antibiotic)
� Neomycin (antibiotic found in many topical medications). Neomycin is 
  in the FDA pregnancy category D. It is known to be 
  harmful to fetuses in large quantities - it is found in minute quantities
  in the swine flu vaccine.
� Beta-propiolactone (a disinfectant). According to the EPA: "No
  information is available on the chronic (long-term), reproductive,
  developmental, or carcinogenic effects of beta-propiolactone in
  humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has
  classified beta-propiolactone as a Group 2B, possible human
� Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) (a toxic cleaning agent)
� Formaldehyde (up to 100 mcg in the vaccine which is admittedly a
  minute amount). Formaldehyde is classifed as a  
  probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection
  Agency, and as a known human carcinogen by the International
  Agency for Research on Cancer.
� Triton-X 100 (Polyethylene glycol P-isooctylphenyl ether) is a toxic
� Sodium phosphate
� Sodium chloride (table salt)
� Gelatin

If you want to protect yourself from swine flu, read Dr. Connie's article in this same newsletter.  Remember that the H1N1 virus generally causes only mild in symptoms in a normal, healthy immune system will in most cases handle it easily.  We cannot tell our patients what to do. What we can do at Pacific Naturopathic is present evidence-based information so you have all that you need to make the decision for yourself. 

The Intelligence Behind a Fever
~Dhurga Reddy, ND
Dhurga Reddy, ND

"Give me a fever, and I can cure any illness."  - Hippocrates

With the start of this year's cold and flu season, I've noticed that many people are paying much more attention to checking their body temperatures at the first sign of a sniffle or a cough.  This is great because checking your body temperature provides you and your doctor with important information.  An elevated temperature can indicate that you might require more than just basic immune support because it could tell your doctor that you have the seasonal flu, swine flu, or a bacterial infection, versus a simple cold virus.  If you do feel you are getting sick, I would encourage you to check your body temperature.  However, it is important to know that having an elevated temperature is not necessarily a bad thing.   

When your body temperature rises in response to an infection, its an indication that your body is actively working to overcome the infection.  Upon detecting an invading virus or bacteria, a healthy immune system will release chemicals into the blood stream called cytokines that tell the hypothalamus in your brain to raise your body temperature.  Your body works to raise its temperature because a hotter environment enhances the activity of the immune system against the infection.  A higher body temperature actually encourages the activity and production of white blood cells, which patrol and defend your body against pathogens.  A fever also encourages the production of antibodies and interferon, chemicals which work with high specificity to directly attack and block viruses such as the seasonal flu and swine flu viruses.  On top of all of that, a fever itself is inhospitable to viruses and bacteria - the excess heat directly kills these pesky bugs.  In fact, a temperature of about 103 degrees Fahrenheit in a healthy child or adult is optimal to fight off an infection.  So, before you reach for a tylenol, ibuprofen, or aspirin (which by themselves can have serious side effects and potentially dangerous consequences) to reduce your fever, please reconsider and reach for things that actually enhance your body's own defense systems, you will likely recover faster and stay healthier for longer.

If you do have a fever, it is important to know when your body is working successfully to rid you of an infection, and when your body might need some more support.  First of all, the average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but this number is just a mean - some people normally run up to one degree colder or hotter, and our temperatures vary based on the time of day and timing in the menstrual cycle.  Also, if you have a fever for a long period of time, without any other symptoms you should see your doctor to understand the cause of the elevated temperature.  In healthy adults and children, when dealing with a fever that is most likely associated with an infection, its important to support the immune system with lots of rest and fluids (like ginger soup!).  However, particularly in infants, it is important to understand when urgent care is required, because fevers that become very high can damage the body.  Keep in mind that fevers due to infection seldom get high enough to cause damage.  Seek care immediately if:

    -if you have no idea where the fever is coming from
    -the fever is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in an infant under 2  
     months old
    -the fever is above 104 degrees Fahrenheit
    -the individual is experiencing convulsions
    -the fever is in an infant who is crying inconsolably or staring
    -the individual has a stiff neck
    -the individual has stopped urinating
    -the individual is not breathing normally
    -the individual has some other chronic condition like diabetes or
    -you do not feel confident managing the fever on your own

Naturopathic doctors work with patients to support fevers in the case of infections and often even stimulate fevers with hydrotherapy and botanical medicine in patients who are unable to mount a healthy fever on their own.  We understand that the body's own defense system acts more specifically against infecting viruses and bacteria, than any antibiotic or antiviral medication.  Please work with your doctor to understand what your normal body temperature is and how to safely and effectively  support a fever if you do get an infection this cold and flu season, because acknowledging your body's own intelligence is not only empowering, but will keep you healthier over the long run.

Ginger Soup: An Immune Boosting Recipe from Pacific Naturopathic
~Connie Hernandez, ND

Ginger, garlic, and onion are wonderful immune boosters, and are anti-viral, as well. Turmeric is anti inflammatory and anti cancer. Cayenne helps liquefy mucus.  

10 cups water or broth
2 tablespoons chopped ginger root
10 chopped scallions
3 cups bean sprouts
3 tablespoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 bulb (not 1 clove) garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon

Saute scallions, garlic, and ginger root in extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Add water or broth. Bring to a boil, and add seasonings.
Add bean sprouts, greens (collards, kale, beet greens) or other veggies (daikon root, cabbage, broccoli) as desired, for a light soup.
For a heartier soup, add a protein source such as miso, saut�ed tempeh, or free range poultry. Or whisk eggs, and drop in soup while stirring.

At Pacific Naturopathic, we offer evidence-based, integrated approaches to most acute and chronic health concerns. Bone health, breast health, hormonal balance, autoimmunity, cancer, cardiovascular health, inflammation, digestion, pediatrics, and metabolic cleansing are particular areas of interest to our practitioners. To encourage patient participation, we offer both guided self-help protocols and comprehensive doctor assisted protocols.  Our patients tell us they particularly appreciate our doctors, practitioners, and staff for our caring attitudes and commitment to service.

Special Introductory Rate:
Save $30 on your initial Naturopathic Medicine visit when you schedule with either of our new associates, Dr. Agatha or Dr. Dhurga.  Call 650-857-0226 to schedule an appointment.
Offer applies to those appointments made before December 31st, 2009

Discount on Well Woman Exams: $90
Spend only $90 on your annual gyn exam when you schedule your exam with either of our new associates, Dr. Agatha or Dr. Dhurga.  An annual gyn exam will include a full physical exam.  Call 650-857-0226 to schedule an appointment.
Offer does not include the price of the lab fees for processing a Pap smear, urinalysis, or any bloodwork that may be required, or requested by the patient.