Tag Archives: cold

Sore Throats In Kids - Video Shared By Dr. Kirsten Almon

Here's a blurb from one of my favourite doctors, Dr. Aviva Romm. Very holistic in her thinking and approach, she discusses sore throats in kids. To many parents, it might be a surprise that most sore throats are not caused by the bacteria, Strep.
Check it out:
For more information on how to treat your kids and yourselves naturally, please book in to see us!
Be well,
Kirsten Almon Naturopathic Doctor in Mississauga at Erin Mills Optimum Health

How Long Does a Cough Last Anyways?

Below are excerpts from a research paper regarding how long a cough lasts compared with how long people think the cold should last.  Interesting and great addition to the topic of Snort, Sniffle, Sneeze - No Antibiotics Please!  According to their investigation into the research, the cough normally lasts 18 days.  This is not a very comfortable 18 days! But it is reassuring to know that your body is not pathologically broken when you are sick for that long.   I would definitely encourage patients to do all they can to support their bodies naturally while fighting a cough as mentioned above in order to recover quicker than the "normal" 18 days.  - Dr. Callum Peever Comparing Patients’ Expectations With Data From a Systematic Review of the Literature
"Although typically a self-limited condition caused by viruses, many patients seek care and request antibiotics for acute cough illness." "The rate of antibiotic prescribing for acute cough illness remains too high." "The mean duration of cough in the published literature is 18 days (rounded)." "Survey respondents reported a median duration of cough 5 to 7 days." "There is a mismatch between patients’ expectations regarding the duration of acute cough illness and the actual duration based on the best available evidence. Efforts to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use should target this discrepancy. We found a significant mismatch between expectations of community-dwelling adults regarding the mean duration of a typical acute cough illness (5-7 days) and the actual duration of acute cough illness from the medical literature (approximately 18 days)." "If a patient expects that an episode of acute cough illness should last about 6 or 7 days, it makes sense that they might seek care for that episode and request an antibiotic after 5 or 6 days. Furthermore, if they begin taking an antibiotic 7 days after the onset of symptoms, they may begin to feel better 3 or 4 days later, with the episode fully resolving 10 days later. Although this outcome may reinforce the mistaken idea that the antibiotic worked, it is merely a reflection of the natural history of acute cough illness." "Patients should be told that it is normal to still be coughing 2 or even 3 weeks after onset, and that they should only seek care if they are worsening or if an alarm system, such as high fever, bloody or rusty sputum, or shortness of breath, occurs."

Do Antibiotics make you well… or sick?

Since the 1940’s antibiotics have been held up as miracle drugs. Unfortunately they have been abused and we are seeing hosts of problems arise and aggravated because of them. Now we are seeing superbugs, hormonal imbalances, leaky guts, breast cancer risk, cardiac damage, anemia, rashes, neurotoxicity, musculoskeletal toxicity, diarrhea, and colitis. At Erin Mills Optimum Health we focus on supporting and empowering the body to excel through challenges so that we can minimize the need for rescuing from antibiotics. Read more in the below .pdf
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snort sniffle sneeze - no antibiotics please

Snort Sniffle Sneeze No Antibiotics Please

Antibiotics were once hailed as a miracle drug, but are now widely misused and overused.

Antibiotics used incorrectly are bad for your health and are leading to “super bugs”.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) has a large media campaign to decrease the use of antibiotics in society. The campaign is titled “Snort Sniffle Sneeze, No Antibiotics Please”. I will highlight the main points from this campaign and then grow your understanding further towards a naturally healthy state.

Here are some of the main points from the Snort Sniffle Sneeze, No Antibiotics Please campaign:

  • Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics do nothing for viral infections.
  • “Cold or Flu, Antibiotics don’t work for you.”
  • Viral infections cause most of the snort, sniffle, and sneezes. (Most coughs, colds, bronchitis, sinus infections, and sore throats as well as some ear infections).
  • Using an antibiotic for a viral infection will NOT cure the infection, will NOT help you feel better, will NOT keep others from catching the illness.
  • Most sore throats DO NOT require an antibiotic.
  • Green colored mucus is NOT a sign that an antibiotic is needed.
  • Some ear infections DO NOT require an antibiotic.

When used incorrectly antibiotics can be harmful to your health:

  • Antibiotics kill good bacteria in your child’s body, which may lead to complications, such as diarrhea or yeast infection.
  • Cause a serious allergic reaction that may require hospitalization.
  • Result in an antibiotic-resistant infection. Resistant bacteria are stronger and harder to kill. They can stay in your child’s body and can cause severe illnesses that cannot be cured with antibiotics. A cure for a resistant infection may require stronger treatment–and possibly a hospital stay.

Check out the CDC campaign brochures yourself: Antibiotics aren’t always the answer CDC PDF Know when Antibiotics don’t work CDC PDF

Here is a video message from the CDC that is entertaining and gets to the point that if you are having Snorts, Sniffles, or Sneezes, then say No Antibiotics Please!

The video has some great suggestions beyond avoiding the improper use of antibiotics. It goes on to offer some suggestions such as:

  • Sooth a sore throat with ice chips, sore throat spray, or lozenges (but don’t give lozenges to young children)
  • use a moist cloth over an ear that hurts
  • to help relieve a cold, use a clean humidifier, a cool mist vaporizer, or breath in steam from a bowl or shower.

Unfortunately, the CDC’s antibiotic campaign falls short of growing your understanding beyond just avoiding antibiotics.

Time to grow your understanding further.

health presentation in Mississauga no antibiotics please
Dr. Peever and Dr. Tiffany presenting this topic in Mississauga at Goodness Me.

Medicine has oversold treatment and undersold the benefits of caring for the body.

This ad campaign is the CDC addressing this problem in society. The problem that I see with it is that they stop short of addressing the benefits of caring for a body. They do mention numerous ways to address the symptoms associated with these snorts, sniffles, and sneezes. But they don’t go into ways of supporting or encouraging the body to function better towards a naturally healthy state.

What is caring for the body?

Did you realize that your body is the greatest drug store on earth? Your body knows which drugs to use, when to use them, and how long to use them for! Your body is also constantly and actively monitoring your internal and external environments for risks and opportunities to rest and heal. When you cut your finger, what heals it? The body does using its amazing, inborn, natural, innate ability to heal! Caring for your body involves supporting and encouraging your body’s amazing, inborn, natural, innate ability to heal. This amazing, inborn, natural, innate ability is coordinated and controlled by your brain and nervous system, and is what Chiropractors are experts at caring for.

Here are some questions to consider when growing your understanding of fighting infections and natural health:

  • Why doesn’t everyone get sick or catch the flu?
  • Why doesn’t everyone get sick at the same time?
  • Why doesn’t everyone get sick for the same length of time?

Dr. Stacy Larson has a great way of addressing these questions “The Flu – Why Doesn’t Everyone Get It?”

That darn flu bug is going around again. It has been spotted driving north on the highway as well as through many local communities. Now, if we could just get the license plate number of the car and apprehend that pesky varmint, we could stop him in his tracks. This is a common perception about the flu virus. It’s “going around.” It’s flu season. There is some truth to the statement that the virus is more prevalent at some times than others but why doesn’t everyone get sick? or at the same time? or for the same length of time? Let’s look at the factors that determine our strength in fighting off health challenges like the flu. First of all, viruses and bacteria are opportunists. This means that they do not attack you. It doesn’t catch you in some desperate race. It can only take advantage of you if your defenses are weak. Our bodies weaken and breakdown when there is more stress than it can handle. The three types of stresses are physical, chemical, and emotional. An example of physical stress would be poor posture or a slip on the sidewalk, chemical stress could be overeating or too much caffeine and emotional stress could be caused by the recent world events or balancing your bank account. The key to being healthier is to constantly build our bodies so they are capable of dealing with these stressors effectively. The most obvious ways of maintaining or improving your health are regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate rest and a positive outlook on life. Often overlooked is maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system. A properly functioning spine and nervous system builds a healthier you by maximizing the effects of frequent exercise, good nutrition, proper rest and a positive mental attitude. By consistently working on your health, stress does not weaken your body as quickly or as much as it may have before. This helps explain why some people get the flu, why some don’t and some don’t get it as bad as others. If viruses and bacteria were the only cause, shouldn’t we all get it at the same time and with the same severity? Start your “flu season” off by building your health today. Remember that a healthy, subluxation-free spine will improve the quality of messages going through the nervous system, enabling you to do everything you do better. Get your spine checked today so that pesky flu bug has less of a chance of “catching” you! -Stacy Larson, D.C


How can you support or encourage the body to function better towards a naturally healthy state?

Dr. Larson hints at a few of the ways above but I will re-write them here:

This has been the Erin Mills Optimum Health approach for over 35 years, and Chiropractic’s for 119.   Our natural approaches don’t treat the common cold. They do, however, help raise your natural resistance to disease, which is the only “cure”. Natural resistance is the only reason why colds “go away” rather than last for weeks, months, or entire lifetimes!

Chiropractic care helps raise your natural resistance to disease by removing a serious interference to your natural healing ability: spinal nerve stress or vertebral subluxations. Naturopathic strategies help raise your natural resistance to disease through utilizing the power of foods and ensuring your body has the proper nutrition.  Our Massage therapists help you get much need rest.

What are vertebral subluxations?

Dr. Tedd Koren writes:

Vertebral subluxations are misaligned vertebrae that cause spinal nerve stress, which in turn interferes with the nervous system and the flow of information and energy between the brain and the rest of the body. This form of stress lowers our natural resistance to disease by unbalancing your nervous system. Health-damaging vertebral subluxations are one of the major causes of dis-ease, or body malfunctioning. Chiropractors perform spinal examinations to detect and locate vertebral subluxations and to correct them by giving Chiropractic spinal adjustments. This relieves the spinal nerve stress and helps restores optimal body functioning for higher resistance to disease, which, we cannot overstate, is the best defense against the common cold. Keeping the spinal column free from vertebral subluxations helps keep natural immunity high. Whatever else you do for yourself, it is essential, if you are suffering from the flu, colds, or respiratory problems, that your spinal column stay healthy. It could make the difference between a quick recovery and lingering illness – even between life and death

Read about the Chiropractic connection to the Immune System!

Don’t rush towards antibiotics, as they are often not the answer to your snorts, sniffles, and sneezes. Instead, support and empower your body’s natural, innate ability to heal with a natural approach at Erin Mills Optimum Health!

If you want to further develop your understanding of these concepts, connect with Dr. Callum Peever or your health professional at Erin Mills Optimum Health.

Dr. Peever has spoke on this topic many times in Mississauga.

Snort Sniffle Sneeze - No Antibiotics Please presented by Dr. Callum Peever at Goodness Me Mississauga


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Aisling Lanigan and Michael Callachan

Keep Sickness Away

Hi everyone!

Cold and flu season is upon us once again so I thought I would offer some insight on how you can keep sickness away in order to be flu-free this winter.

Here are my 5 suggestions to keep sickness away:

1. Vitamin D:

The sunshine vitamin is typically lacking in the winter as the sun is less intense in the winter and many people do not get enough sun exposure as sun bathing in January in Canada is unpopular. There are few good food sources of vitamin D adding to the problem. Supplementing vitamin D, specifically D3, is the only way to prevent deficiency over the winter months. Why am I telling you this? Because vitamin D is important for immune function. Having adequate D3 levels tempers the inflammatory response of some white blood cells while boosting the production of antimicrobial proteins of others. Vitamin D is generally inexpensive and safe at dosages necessary to optimize levels in the body. It is a fat soluble vitamin so for proper absorption it needs to be in a fat emulsion so make sure you are taking a liquid or gel capsule version of D3.

2. Sleep:

Sleep is important to immune function. It ranks as one of the more important things you can do to prevent colds and flus. The National Sleep Foundation says that inadequate sleep has a negative impact on immune function, and chronic sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of contracting infectious disease. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep. If you are having issues getting the necessary amount of sleep seek out help and be well rested and free of infectious disease!

3. Stress:

Keep your stress levels as low as you can. Stress negatively impacts your immune system. High stress levels impair normal immune function making it work harder thereby lowering resistance to infection. While it is likely not possible to completely remove all stress, discharging stress and preventing build up of stress will pay off with less colds and flus. Reducing stress will have positive impacts in many different areas of your life.

4. Nutrition:

Eating a healthy balanced diet has been shown to boost immune function. Have lots of garlic! It has antimicrobial properties that may help prevent infection. Plus it tastes great. Keeping hydrated will also have positive effects on immunity. Drink lots of water and herbal teas to help keep your watery insides moist and happy.

5. Hygiene:

Frequent hand washing has been shown time and again to help prevent infection. Keep your hands clean. Even if you do get sick keep your hands clean to prevent spreading colds and flus to others. Flu virus particles can be spread up to 6 feet as aerosols from coughing and sneezing. Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing. Do not use your hands, as this will facilitate transmission via contamination of surfaces that you subsequently touch.

There you have it friends, 5 reasonable and effective ways to keep sickness away in order to prevent colds and flus this winter. If you do get sick, stay home. You need your rest and going out into the world will make you sicker or prolong your illness and risk spreading it to others. There are treatments that Naturopathic Doctors use that can help reduce the length of illness and the severity. If such treatment options are of interest to you please discuss them with a Naturopathic Doctor.

Thanks for reading everyone,

Dr. Michael Callachan

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How to Boost your Immune System

How to boost your immune system

Treatment and Prevention of Colds, Flus and General Immune System Support

Naturopathic Treatment of colds and flus:


Vitamin C: There is a treatment for the common cold after all. Vitamin C given in doses of 1000-8000 mg per day may reduce the duration of a cold episode by as much as 48%. [Does Vitamin C Alleviate the Symptoms of the Common Cold? – A Review of Current Evidence Scan J Infect Dis 1994;26:1-4.]

Oregano or Berberis complex: these herbs are anti-microbial. When taken 3x/day can stop any bacterial infection and decrease sick days.

Children and Adult’s Cold and Flu Elixir: for coughs, colds and flu this delicious elixir is gentle enough for children, but adults can also benefit from taking it.

Warming Socks: ask our Naturopathic Doctors or front desk for a copy on how to do this wonderful treatment that stimulates the body’s immune system to get busy to fight off colds.

Nebulized Glutathione: this in-house treatment given by our Naturopathic Doctors helps to break up mucous and hasten the recovery of bronchitis and sinusitis.

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Natural Trees

Healing Power of Nature

The Healing Power of Nature

I have had a cold for the past week—vitamins, fish oil and herbs such as hyssop, licorice and elderberry have been my friends as I was supporting the healing power of nature.

But last night the cold took a turn for the worst–I developed a wet cough and ear infection. I don’t remember ever having ear infections as a child. The pain was exquisite, I couldn’t sleep!

Desperate, I took an advil to help the pain–it did nothing! Then, my husband and Naturopathic Doctor, Doug Andrews suggested I do warming socks (this is a type of hydrotherapy using cold water on cotton socks then wool dry socks over top). Within minutes, the pain and throbbing sensation in my ear disappeared and I floated into a deep sleep.

This morning I am feeling much better, though I am still coughing and have some sinus congestion. I just got adjusted my one of our fantastic Chiropractors. The adjustment is helping drain my sinus and I feel even more relief as nature continued to work its wonders.

This whole experience has reminded me again how amazing our nature is at healing when the body is given the right support!

In health,

Kirsten Almon ND, Doula in Mississauga at Erin Mills Optimum Health