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Should your child be tested for Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease, also known as Celiac Sprue, is caused when the body recognizes gluten as a toxic substance and eventually results in changes to the intestinal tract, making it more difficult to properly absorb nutrients. Common digestive symptoms include abdominal pain/cramping, diarrhea, constipation, pale stools, bloating, and decreased appetite. Besides the digestive symptoms associated with Celiac Disease, the latest research indicates that a number of people may have other manifestations of the disease that present before the changes to the gut are detectable. These symptoms include depression/irritability (presenting as behavior problems in children), rashes, sores in the mouth, muscle pain, joint pain, tingling/numbness in extremities, fatigue, weight-loss or difficulty gaining weight, stunted growth, and rash. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Organic food for your child worth the extra $$$?

In these financially strapping times, many parents are looking closely at their budgets and wondering where to make cuts without doing harm to their family. This begs the question "is it really worth spending the extra money on organic food, or can we get by on the cheap stuff?" A tough question for some parents, since there is not a lot of published information on the benefits of organic food over commercially farmed food. Even more discouraging, are some of the studies published lately that seem to contradict what we thought were the health benefits of diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables. While some "organic" foods have been shown to be healthier and safer than their non-organic counterparts, there are plenty of researchers in the field (AKA cynics) who view the "organic" trend as simply a lifestyle choice rather than a movement towards better health. There was even a report published in the UK last year indicating no difference in the health benefits of organic vs. conventionally grown foods, so why, then, spend the extra money on organic foods? Read the rest of this entry »

Can Bad Behavior be Caused by a Healthy Diet?

Most of us have heard that restricting sugar can affect how a child behaves. Refined sugar and junk foods high in simple carbohydrates are known to cause sugar rushes and crashes (often playing out as hyperactivity followed by disagreeability in children). We also know that certain chemicals can directly impact brain chemistry--caffeine is an example of a stimulant that can cause jitters, anxiety, hyperactivity and insomnia. Processed foods, refined sugar, and artificial ingredients are often identified as problem foods, but what about foods we think of as healthy? Read the rest of this entry »
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