Friday, February 14, 2014

Plagiocephaly: everything new is well forgotten old.

There was a time when absolutely all babies used to sleep on their backs. The practice of placing babies on their backs started most likely at the time when people did not know how to write. It was a tradition. Why do traditions exist? Apparently only for one reason: to change them. Placing babies to sleep on the back did not escape the challenge of time and several decades ago someone decided that the best position for babies to sleep was on their bellies. That was a change, revolutionary in its courage and boldness, not as revolutionary as the polio vaccine, but still, it was something.
It turned out that our grandparents, and great grandparents, and before them Moses, and before him Sarah and Abraham were correct placing their babies on the backs. May be they have known something we discovered not so long ago - that belly sleeping was often responsible for sudden infant death. Following this re-discovery “back to sleep” campaign was started and in a mere decade it almost succeeded. Now days most nurses and doctors do their best trying to change bad habits of their patient’s parents. Not all nurses and doctors succumbed to changing their views, because bad habits tend to be very resilient. This resistance to change is reinforced by discovery of a “new” disease called “’plagiocephaly”.
Plagiocephaly is the molding of baby’s naturally soft skull caused by pressure of sleeping in one position. Since “back to sleep” campaign required placing babies on their backs, many babies developed flattened backs of their heads. This new disease epidemic caused enormous alarm among pediatricians. A new industry sprang up to deal with it and a score of companies began manufacturing helmets to treat plagiocephaly.

If the same pediatricians asked their grandmothers, or opened old, really old, text book written while then their grandparents were young they could have made an astonishing discovery that plagiocephaly is as old as the world, that head deformities go away once babies begin to roll and to sit and that using helmets is a waste of money and it works as well as time itself.

Sergei Shushunov, MD

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Antibiotics overkill ?

Did you know that American children 10 years and younger are 50% more likely to be treated with oral antibiotics than children of the same age in the United Kingdom? This is a conclusion of the study published by a journal “Pharmacotherapy” in December 2013 following analysis of 160,000 charts from each country. Another interesting fact discovered was a 5 times higher total cost of prescribed antibiotics within the same groups of children in the United States in comparison with the United Kingdom. The study raises a lot of questions. What drives this discrepancy in usage? Parental pressure? Malpractice pressure? Pharmaceutical companies, making exuberant profits in the American market?

The difference is striking.

Sergei Shushunov, MD

Monday, April 15, 2013

Recent research on infant colic

An article published in "NEUROLOGY" journal in 2012 points to a  link between parental migrane and colic in babies. Parents suffering from migrane were more likely to have babies with colic. Migrane, just like colic is likely triggered by vasoactive substances present in the body in unbalanced quantities. In some adults migrane manifests in not only severe headache, but also in abdominal cramping - just what appears to be happenning in colici babies.  This article indirectly support use of vasoactive compounds, such as anethole, a component of fennel seed oil, used to formulate Pediacalm, colic remedy from Lev Laboratories, to treat baby colic.

Sergei Shushunov, MD

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Research on Vitamin D

Current recommendation on the dose of vitamin D of 400 units daily for children living far away from the equator (Europe, USA, Canada)  will certainly be changed. More research is indicating that low blood level of vitamin D is associated with large number of otherwise unrelated diseases and conditions. The most recent data shows that low level of vitamin D in the blood of children at the age of one year is associated with higher  level of food allergies. Thr incidence of food allergies among children living close to the equator and having sufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation was almost 4 times lower than in children living in temperate climate. Waiting for recommendations to increase the daily dose of vitamin D does not make sence  - it may take years to be approved and published.

Sergei Shushunov, MD

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cerebral Concussions in Children

Brain (cerebral) concussions, otherwise called "mild traumatic brain injuries" in children are attracting more attention these days due to proliferation of research in this area.
Concussions can lead to long term problems involving cognitive functions - poor memory, attention span, learning and also behavioral changes. Diagnosis of concussion is usually based on a history of trauma and neurological evaluation. Headache, nausea, vomiting, poor balance, dizziness, being dazed are very obvious signs.
Less noticeable problems include sensitivity to light and noise, numbness, feeling tired, slow responses to questions.
Old treatment of brain concussion was physical rest - including bed rest in case of dizziness and vomiting. Now days in addition to physical rest doctors also advise to have so called "cognitive" rest - the avoidance of all activities that could increase brain metabolic rate and blood flow. The cognitive rest means forgoing video games, board games, and computers, studying, reading as well as avoiding noisy, busy and stressful environments.

Sergei Shushunov, MD

Monday, June 18, 2012

Treating ADHD Naturally



Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder can be a devastating problem to control in young kids. It can affect their behavior in school and at home, making it difficult to socialize properly and complete tasks. Today there are many prescription drugs on the market prescribed to kids diagnosed with ADHD, but these medications can come with risky side effects. Psychostimulants such as Adderall, Dexedrine, Desoxyn, Ritalin and Focalin are ADHD medications that have been around the longest. These stimulant medications unfortunately can be referred to as the street drug known as “speed.” While lots of doctors try to claim that these medications are effective for treating ADHD, it is unsettling to know that people actually use these medications illegally for drug use. Furthermore, in about 70% of children with ADHD, these stimulant medications’ effects may not be long lasting, causing the threat of addiction. If you want to treat your child’s ADHD naturally, consider Timeout. It is a proprietary blend of rhodiola and motherwort extracts. These herbs have been studied closely in the treatment of ADHD and can greatly improve ADHD symptoms. This natural treatment does not have any of the side effects traditional stimulant medications come with. It helps to increase mental performance and stabilizes mood. Order Timeout today for a safe and effective natural remedy to help your child control their ADHD symptoms.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

QuickLyte: The Herbal Diarrhea Remedy

Diarrhea is not only a very uncomfortable for a child to deal with, but it also can be a very serious problem leading to dehydration if not treated. One of the most common causes of diarrhea in infants is rotavirus. New rotavirus vaccine offers great protection, but just as an old vaccine it can cause life threatening intestinal blockage called intussusception.  Besides, this vaccine does not protect infants against all other causes of infectious diarrhea. Conventional treatment of diarrhea is based on rehydration. Medication to slow down bowel function in infants can lead to life threatening complications. Lev Laboratories developed formulation for diarrhea, QuickLyte, is made up of a mixture of glucose, electrolytes, and tormentil root extract, known for effectively and most important safely reducing diarrhea in infants and adults. This formulation is packaged in foil-lined packets in powder form that is easily mixed with 8 oz of water. The tormentil root extract found in our QuickLyte formula can greatly reduce the severity, as well as the duration of diarrhea. Its effectiveness has been clinically-proven. Furthermore, QuickLyte works by improving the electrolyte and water balance in the body, which helps to shorten the duration of diarrhea. There are no known side effects from QuickLyte, so you can be sure it is safe for your children. It has a yummy natural fruit flavor that suits children of all ages! By using QuickLyte, you can eliminate the trouble of having to schedule a doctor’s appointment, or a trip to the E.R. QuickLyte eliminates the stress and anxiety of trying to treat diarrhea. Try QuickLyte the next time your little one is suffering from diarrhea and you are sure to see a positive improvement!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Timeout for ADHD


Alternative treatments for ADHD can be the best option for some kids struggling with the disorder. Natural remedies for ADHD come with virtually no side effects and are very safe.
Timeout is an alternative treatment made from a proprietary blend of extracts of motherwort and rhodiola combined with syrup water along with natural fructose and stevia to naturally sweeten the mixture. Motherwort and rhodiola have documented, beneficial effects on the Central Nervous system and are completely safe.
The motherwart plant has a calming, sedative effect, as well as anti-anxiety characteristics. This is very helpful in treating ADHD, as being calm really influences the ability to be able to focus. Motherwart has a calming effect that is just as strong as the calming effect felt from the well-known anti-anxiety plant valerian root, but does not come with the possible side effects associated with prolonged use of valerian root.
The other main element in Timeout, rhodiola, is a popular plant used in traditional Eastern medicine, like Tibetan and Chinese medicines, and in Scandinavian and Russian medicines as well.
Rhodiola belongs to the adaptogenic plant category. These plants differ from stimulant plants because their extracts help cells utilize energy with more efficiency by producing energy carrying chemicals, whereas stimulants work by producing cells that consume large amounts of energy. This means that adaptogenic plants like rhodiola help more in the nourishment of the cells, and particularly, with brain cells.
There have been studies showing that rhodiola activates neurotransmitter activity in the Central Nervous system, which may affect the availability of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and acetylcholine in brain cells. Clinical and laboratory research strongly supports the use of rhodiola in treating ADHD. Just a single dose of this plant extract has antidepressant, anti-anxiety and performance enhancing affects. It can also help with learning skills like memorization, and helps in adjusting to stressful environments. And unlike stimulants, rhodiola helps to improve heart function by preventing abnormal heartbeats. This can be attributed to effective energy utilization of the heart cells.
If you’re struggling to help treat a child with ADHD, consider Timeout. Its natural formula is safe and has proven beneficial effects which may be the perfect treatment for a child with ADHD.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Causes for Colicky Infants



There are various theories about colic in babies, so there does not seem to be one single cause that medical experts can agree on for colic. Regardless, there is lots of evidence to suggest that colic is caused for different reasons in babies. It seems that when certain possible factors occur simultaneously, babies are likely to experience the colic pain and discomfort.
1. The digestive system in newborns is immature, as it has never processed food before. Therefore, infants’ gastrointestinal system is just learning how to function at birth. The muscles that assist in digestion have not developed the proper rhythm for efficiently pushing food through the digestive tract. In addition, infants do not have a sufficient built up amount of probiotics, or bacterial flora that develops over time to help with digestion. Once babies have built up enough of this bacterial flora, they are likely to outgrow their colic within about their first six months.
2. Also, mothers who are lactating could consumer certain foods containing chemicals or allergens that, for some babies, results in colic symptoms and an upset digestive system. When lactating, trace amounts of elements of cruciferous vegetables and other gas producing foods could be passed to the infant from breast milk, causing bloating and gas for the baby.
3. Finally, it is common for infants to swallow air when crying or eating, which makes their gas and bloating worse. This adds to their discomfort and assists in colic.
It is very likely that because infants have such immature nervous systems, they could easily become overwhelmed when exposed to new and unfamiliar sights and sounds. For these infants who are more overloaded with these new sights and sounds, their fussiness, colic, and difficulty being able to nap or sleep through the night, becomes an issue. Usually, infants have a higher chance of being colicky and fussy if they are exposed to an overwhelming amount of activities, like errands, the television, phones, visitors, etc.
While there is no single cause for colic, this information can be helpful in discovering the causes of a fussy, colicky baby. Read more about the PediaCalm™ - Baby Colic Remedy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Understanding ADHD in Children


ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a behavioral disorder that creates abnormal levels of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These symptoms can really affect a child’s day-to-day activities.
About a century ago, ADHD was considered a disorder, which caused unruly behavior and hyperactivity, mostly observed in boys. Then, it was noticed that in children recovering from the viral brain infection known as encephalitis, attention dysfunction and conduct behavior issues were frequently occurring. However, some children who were never diagnosed with encephalitis also showed these kinds of systems and were then labeled to have “Minimum or Minimal Brain Dysfunction.” This title, including other terms, such as, “hyperkinetic syndrome” were given to children before the 1970s, that today we would state as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Today, about 3-9% of young people in the country have been affected by ADHD. Interestingly, there is about a 3:1 boy to girl ratio with ADHD. While the disorder is usually associated with children, ADHD also affects many adults. It is estimated that about half of all children diagnosed with ADHD do not fully outgrow the disorder, as 3-5% of adults over the age of 20 have the disorder.
In regards to treatment, about 3.5 million adolescents between the ages of 3 and 19 have been subscribed psychostimulant medication. As a child ages, hyperactivity may decrease yet lingering hyperactive symptoms will still affect the child’s life as an adult. Struggling with time management, quality sleep, frustration and self-motivation are some of the symptoms that can affect adults who, was diagnosed with ADHD as children.
Luckily, there is a variety of medications as well as natural, alternative treatments for ADHD available today. It is important to learn about these various treatments and try the ones you feel would be the best options for your child. With the right treatment, ADHD can be effectively controlled and your child can live a normal, healthy life! For more information, visit Timeout – Attention Deficit Remedy