Antibiotic Alternatives

A friend shared her story about her most recent visit to a pediatrician.  She was the last patient of the day in a typical 5000 patient practice. She said she spent about 45 seconds with the doctor.  In those brief moments, the doctor explained that her child had an ear infection and prescribed an antibiotic. Thanks and goodbye.  She felt frustrated and let down.  She could not get more information from the doctor, had no time to ask questions, wasn’t able to voice her concerns about antibiotics, and couldn’t discuss alternatives with the doctor.


1 in 5 pediatric sick visits result in a prescription antibiotic.  It is an open secret that we as the medical community can do better when it comes to antibiotic usage.  30 percent of antibiotics are medically unnecessary.  Healthcare providers commonly prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory infections like common cold and flu, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, and sinus and ear infections– caused by viruses and not responsive to antibiotics.


By the age of 20, the average American child will have had 17 courses of antibiotics contributing to physician-caused problems and bacterial resistance to antibiotics, as well as leaving lasting effects on our children’s immune system, gut microbiome, and metabolism. A well-cited and recognized study shows that a single antibiotic administered to a baby before a year old significantly increases that child’s risk of developing asthma.


What are your options?  While it is torture to see your child suffering in sickness, sometimes a wait and see approach is best. Instead of practicing the popular mantra, “Don’t just sit there, do something,” we should consider the opposite as more powerful, “Don’t just do something, sit there!” A host of natural approaches that may be applicable for a first-line treatment are available. We also recognize antibiotics are vital life-saving drugs serving a critical need, however, their overuse will render them ineffective when they are most needed.


If you have visited my office with a sick child the odds are you have left here at some point with a bottle of Biocidin. What is biocidin and why do we use it? Biocidin is a well researched, well tolerated, and effective botanical blend with proven antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It’s ingredients include:


Bilberry extract (25% anthocyanosides), Noni, Milk Thistle, Echinacea (purpurea & angustifolia), Goldenseal, Shiitake, White Willow (bark), Garlic, Grapeseed extract (min. 90% polyphenols), Black Walnut (hull and leaf), Raspberry, Fumitory, Gentian, Tea Tree oil, Galbanum oil, Lavender oil (plant & flower), Oregano oil (plant & flower).


We use Biocidin before turning to antibiotics for mild to moderate broad spectrum infections. While this works for my practice where we have more time to educate patients and patients have greater accessibility to allow for follow up visits, it may not be right for everyone and you should talk to your healthcare provider.


Here are a few more common visits and possible alternatives to consider. It is important to keep in mind that about half of all children’s ear infections will resolve without use of antibiotics.  Dr. Rusty who has been practicing medicine with a natural approach for over 40 years says that 80% of ear infections will be self-limiting and subside within about 72 hours. His first line treatment for ear infections is a mix of garlic and mullein oil with 1-2 drops in the ear followed by applying warmth.  Depending on the patient he may recommend Motrin for pain relief. Sore throats are another common culprit of childhood sickness and pediatric visits.  80% of sore throats are caused by viruses. Elderberry syrup is an effective treatment with broad-ranging health benefits and immune support for sore throats. Dr. Thornburg will use high dose vitamin D3 once a day for three days along with symptom relief strategies.


Share with us which homeopathic and natural treatments work for you and your family because we are a connected network of families committed to health and wellness.

Ancient Energy & Modern Balance – By Marissa Fatica

Tis the season of holy spiked eggnog, I have a hundred and eleven things to do! Sitting down and planning, creating and mapping out my upcoming obligations is an exhausting task and it only requires my brain, a piece of paper and a writing utensil…. How am I going to accomplish it all in my current state of confusion with a hint of heavy eyelids. The mere lines of needs and expectations are starting to blur together. If only I can divide and conquer, but as a woman with multiple hats I just can not!

So as I sit and ponder my life choices, and ask myself why did I take on all these tasks, I looked for a solution to my lag and I want to share my eureka moment!

Fatigue  and stamina the one thing I loath and the one think I crave, what can I due to address both issues I am facing. So to the innerweb I went, because lets face it, it has become the source of all self-relied knowledge. After getting lost in ads, blogs, self helps, I came across the holy grail! Two words will change your life and I hope you are sitting down and yes, feel free to send me copious amounts of love mail!!MACA ROOT!!

What is Maca Root you ask, well let me blow your mind and expectations with a simple supplement. No, I am not selling anything, this is not a pyramid scheme this is a root that is a treasure grown for us from mother earth herself. Maca root is known to help with chronic fatigue syndrome it promotes energy/stamina/endurance. It helps with stress relief and supports endocrine health. For us ladies it help with hormone imbalance, menstrual problems, and it has been know to dabble in helping our come hither here moments. It also helps boost a much need gland that we don’t think of or don’t know could use a helping hand. That gland is known as your thyroid gland, it is supports  a lot of things in your body.

Don’t take my word just take my challenge, it’s a week long and involves water and the simple task of swallowing a few pills. So lets reconvene and talk about how awesome and knowledgeable I am in aiding you in checking off all your assignments and goals, all while feeling like your younger self, you remember the one with no responsibilities.  

This is Marissa signing off with your irrefutable life hacks!!

Addressing ADD Naturally?

A mother recently asked me how I would naturally address inattentiveness (ADD) in a 14-year-old.
Like her, many of you know and love someone with this common condition and would like to try a natural approach before resorting to medications.
Symptoms of inattention, as listed in the DSM-IV, are:
  • often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities;
  • often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities;
  • often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly;
  • often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions);
  • often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities;
  • often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework);
  • often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools);
  • is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli;
  • is often forgetful in daily activities.
Begin with diet.
Lots of ADD/ADHD children have GI issues that may include: abnormal carbohydrate digestion, esophagitis, and pancreatic dysfunction.  The GI tract produces most of the brain’s serotonin and serotonin helps to stop “loop thinking.”
Since the gut is the main entrance for nutrients and the main exit point for toxins then GI issues are the first point of correction. Supplements alone are only half the story.
Proper digestion and absorption are essential to give your brain what it needs to stay on track. Furthermore, if your child’s GI tract has a problem than their brain may be receiving inflammatory markers and this increases the chance of excitability and inattention.
Make sure carb intake is controlled to avoid sugar highs and crashes, to ensure a yeast problem does not exist, and to check that all sugars are digested (especially the FODMAP ones.)
Further, the stool has to be checked to see if the consumed foods are being digested. If not then the stomach acid may need to be boosted and/or pancreatic enzymes needed.
Once this is done then focus on energy and anti-inflammation via food and supplements.
Supplements would include mitochondrial support, multivitamin, probiotics, fish oil and vitamin D3.
We have these in the office. The world of supplements is huge and overwhelming so I have done the homework for my patients. I am happy to share them with people who seek wellness.

9 Secrets on How to Live Well to 100

Dr. Hinohara was born in 1911 and passed away on July 18, 2017, in Tokyo. He served as the honorary president of St. Luk’s International Hospital and chairman emeritus of St.Luke’s International University.  He treated victims of the firebombing in World War 2, treated victims of a subway poison gas attack in 1995, and introduced wellness physicals into the Japanese national medical system.

Among other accolades, Dr. Hinohara wrote a children’s musical at 88 and a best-selling book when he was 101.

Dr. Hinohara came to understand that he was treating people and not diseases. He insisted on fully understanding the whole of an individual as much as one would the illness.  He came to believe that curing illness would involve the use of visual and liberal arts in addition to standard modern medical treatments.

During his journey of 105 years, Dr. Hinohara crafted a philosophy to help others and himself live longer healthier lives.

  1. Energy comes from feeling good, and not from eating well or sleeping a lot.
  2. Make efforts towards everyday fitness. Take the stairs, carry your own packages, walk to your destination. Even if you have to start by walking to the mail box. We all start somewhere.
  3. Remember that doctors can’t cure everything. Challenge your doctor and ask them if this is the treatment they would advise for their son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, or father.
  4. Music and animals are a powerful medicine.
  5. Never retire, but if you must do so much later than 65.
  6. Stay busy. Dr. Hinohara worked 18 hour days, 7 days a week until his last few months of life.
  7. Keep a schedule well in advance, he was looking forward to visiting the 2020 Olympics when he passed.
  8. Find time to give back. Share your knowledge, expertise, skills, or time.  Dr. Hinohara gave 150 lectures a year even in his old age has given some 4500 lectures throughout his life.
  9. Enjoy yourself.

These are not hard and fast rules to be obeyed.  He had an often quoted philosophy on rules,”We all remember how as children when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe we can keep that attitude as adults– it is best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.”


Zn (Zinc) The Paul Giamatti of Supplements

Zinc is the Paul Giamatti of supplements – A star in a supporting role.

People are focused on the macro side of nutrition by looking at fats, carbs and proteins that this mineral is easy to overlook. We are quite good at incorporating entire food groups and doing our best to avoid others. Reading nutritional labels to review serving size, calories, fats, sugars, is also a popular health focus. But we aren’t quite so vigilant about vitamins and minerals. As a matter of fact, the FDA notes almost 50% of the US population has a nutritional deficiency. Just like Mary, there is something about zinc. You may look more at closely at this mineral after reading this.


There are 24 essential vitamins and minerals, 12 of each. Essential means our body cannot make these so they must be consumed. Intake is absolutely crucial to healthy physiologic functioning. You may become chronically sick and at the least do not feel well, if you are deficient.

Zinc is found in our muscles, bones, kidneys, pancreas, retina, teeth, hair, skin, liver, blood cells, prostate, and testes. You begin to imagine what can go wrong if adequate amounts of zinc are not available to us in our diet.


Zinc is better absorbed from animal than from plant sources. Many plant-based foods contain phytic acid. This substance binds to minerals like iron and zinc and inhibits the body’s ability to absorb them. Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to have zinc deficiencies.


A quick taste test at home can reveal if you are zinc deficient. Pour about 2 tablespoons of water-based zinc solution into a cup and drink the solution. If it tastes like water then you are deficient. If it tastes metallic or bitter than you likely have adequate zinc stores. You can purchase this zinc solution at most health food stores and we carry it here at our office.



Zinc kicks the common cold’s butt. The duration and severity of symptoms may be reduced by up to 40%.


Even mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair our immune defenses, affecting macrophage and neutrophil functions. These two types of white blood cells help engulf and digest cellular debris, foreign substances, infectious bacteria, and cancer cells. Studies in the elderly show a 66% decrease in infections when supplemented with zinc.


Zinc plays a crucial role in skin integrity and structure. Studies show that patients experiencing chronic wounds or ulcers had deficient zinc metabolism and lower serum zinc levels.


Studies reveal that zinc plays a crucial role in regulating neuron communication, affecting how we learn and memory formation.


Zinc deficient children and adolescents have positive behavioral and cognitive outcomes following zinc supplementation. Also, zinc facilitates the effectiveness of ADHD drugs allowing for lower dosing to achieve beneficial results.


Zinc helps control diarrhea and prevent future bouts of the condition.


Zinc and antioxidants delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) possibly by preventing cellular damage in the retina.


Zinc plays a part in regulating vital fertility hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.


Most people with hypothyroidism are zinc deficient. Zinc is required to produce thyroid hormone and any inadequacy can lead to hypothyroidism. Zinc increases Free T3, lowers RT3, lowers TSH.


Zinc treatment prevents dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramping) and helps regulate ovulation.


Zinc blocks excess androgens (testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen) and helps kills bacteria by improving white cell function. Pores open and acne is decreased.


Zinc is a powerful antioxidant. Deficiency of zinc leads to a buildup of free radicals thus exposing DNA to damage and age-related diseases. Zinc supplementation decreases oxidative stress biomarkers and decreases inflammatory cytokines.













Age and sex help determine your dietary needs, but other considerations should be made. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers have higher requirements. Athletes may be eliminating zinc in their sweat and will require replacement. Consult your physician before supplementing.

Zinc is widely available as a nutritional supplement.

0-6 Months 2 mg/day
7-12 Months 3 mg/day
1-3 Years 3   mg/day
4-8 Years 5 mg/day
9-13 Years 8 mg/day
Males 14 and over 11 mg/day
Females 14 to 18 9 mg/day
Females 19 and over 8 mg/day




Zinc may start with the last letter of the alphabet but this important essential mineral supports the entire alphabet soup of vitamins and minerals that come before ‘z.’  Think of it as the Zeus of your health!