Our Amazon is burning

Our Amazon is burning

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Nuestro Amazonas se está quemando

Categorizing people, places, and problems as “other“ is a tactic meant to distance us from the truth of human connection. Currently, this is happening with the Amazon. The Amazon Rainforest is our forest. We should be caretakers of this forest just as the indigenous people that live within it are. The Amazon and the biodiversity contained within it are priceless.

The truth is, we are losing biodiverse systems as a result of our demand as consumers. Our desire for agricultural products drives the clearing of native lands for cattle and grain. Our need for wood and paper is driving the loss of mature trees that anchor the ecosystem.

The Amazon holds millions of the world‘s species, which include superfoods and medicinal plants – many of which have yet to be discovered. Multiple pharmaceutical drugs mimic the effect of plant species found in the Amazon or use a component of those species within their formulas.

What would our famous “super food bowls“ be without Açai or Camu Camu, one of the highest food-based sources of Vitamin C?

So how can we be conscious consumers from thousands of miles away?

  • Choose organic and support companies that buy from local cooperatives
  • Cut meat consumption to a few days a week or less
  • Look for labels with the Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance symbols, especially coffee and chocolate
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
  • Donate generously to initiatives that support local indigenous tribes and communities

Remember, we are all responsible for the rainforest and our planet.

Breast Milk is the Best

Breast Milk is the Best

By Arturo Gastañaduy, M.D., A&G Pediatrics 

Click aqui para español- > La leche materna es la mejor

Breast milk is the ideal food for your baby. Exclusively breastfeeding for six months is the optimal way to provide good nutrition to all infants for healthy growth and development. Solid foods should be introduced at six months of age and breastfeeding should continue until the first birthday or beyond. No extra water is required when breast milk is present, and the only additional supplement needed is Vitamin D.

Unlike formula, breast milk boosts the baby’s immune system by providing antibodies, white blood cells and other factors that decrease the risk and severity of infections like colds, pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, etc. It also decreases the risk of developing allergies, asthma, eczema, obesity, leukemia and SIDS.  

Breastfeeding also promotes mother-infant bonding and stimulates brain development. Infants who are exclusively breast fed for 3 months or longer have higher intelligence scores.

Maternal benefits include lower risk of hypertension, diabetes, breast and ovarian cancers, decreased blood loss after delivery, increased child spacing, and earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight.

Practical advantages of breastfeeding: It is free, always ready at the right temperature, with no need for bottles and sterilizing equipment. Since fathers do not have to get up to fix a bottle in the middle of the night, they can be of use for other tasks!

Despite all the benefits of breast milk, most mothers stop breastfeeding too soon – only 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Moreover, breastfeeding disparities exist with lower rates among African Americans, young mothers, the southeastern region of the U.S., and rural areas and infants enrolled in the WIC program.

The most important stimulus for milk production is the sucking by the infant. If this is interrupted, milk quantities will decrease. Problems with latching, concerns about the amount of milk produced, sore breast, cracked nipples, early formula feeds, and lack of hospital, family and work support are some of the reasons for early interruption of breast feeding.

Breast feeding contraindications are few and infrequent. Ask your doctor about them.

Tips for parents

Attend pre-natal classes                                 

Choose baby-friendly hospitals for delivery

Ask for skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth

Keep your baby in your room and breastfeed frequently

Steady milk production takes several days.

Initially, only small amount of clear yellow fluid (colostrum) is produced. Colostrum has antibodies and white blood cells that protect your baby against infections.

Be patient with yourself and your baby; he/she needs time to learn to eat.

Avoid formula supplementation, unless medically needed.

No pacifiers; have your baby suck your breast to produce more milk.

What’s for Lunch?

What’s for Lunch?

By Lia Threat 

Click aqui para español- >¿Qué hay de almuerzo?

Packing a Healthier Lunchbox for the Little Ones

The school year is already starting, and many of us are left wondering where our summer went! Make the transition to packing lunches a little more pleasant with some of the following back-to-school tips.

Offer new foods

Often, parents become frustrated with mealtime battles and fall into a pattern of sending the same lunch day after day. To avoid falling into this trap, offer your child new foods multiple times in various ways. It can take more than ten times of trying something before your child eats it! For example, your child may not like blueberries, but he/she may enjoy them in the form of a sugar-free jam. They may not care for raw broccoli but may like it cooked. Does your child spit out their greens? Try greens as part of a pesto sauce with lemon. Changing the method of preparation and adding seasonings can be a game-changer!

Watch the sugar!

Treats are always appreciated but try not to make it a daily habit. Try baking a healthier, homemade option that is naturally sweet – like banana muffins – and store them in the freezer for future lunch-packing.

Skip the juice and provide water!

Drinking water is essential for the health of our bodies and the health of our mouths! Fruit juices and sodas are not only sugary but also acidic. Foods high in sugar and acids can cause damage to teeth while creating the ideal environment for cavities to develop. Transition from juice to water with mint or a few strawberries added for flavor.

Have a great school year!

Get Healthier This Fall

Get Healthier This Fall

Click aqui para español- >Como mantenerse saludable este otoño

It’s back-to-school time, which means it might be a little too easy to eat the wrong things.

With all the rushing around that comes with this time of year, it’s hard to find the time to shop for and eat all the fruits and vegetables you need to keep healthy. Now more than ever, we need dietary supplements that allow us to stay healthy while we’re on the go.

Clinically tested in Baton Rouge, BiomeBliss was invented in New Orleans by natives Mark Heiman, PhD, John Elstrott, PhD, and Dale Pfost, PhD. BiomeBliss was created to help us stay healthy in the world of little time and fast food.

We’ve all done it – stopped by the drive through on our way home because we didn’t have time to go to the store. But making a habit of it is not healthy for the trillions of micro-organisms that live in your gut. These micro-organisms are not just passengers – they play active, important roles in your health. In fact, without proper nutrients, they can’t function and that can lead to serious problems. 

That’s where BIOMEBLISS comes in. Try BIOMEBLISS every morning: it contains the goodness of several servings of superfood fruits and grains (without all the sugar and calories) and helps you feel fuller to avoid snacking.

The team at BiomeBliss is dedicated to reversing recent trends in dietary choices by offering a delicious and easy drink to boost your gut microbiome. 

Learn more at  www.BiomeBliss.com 

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*These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA.  Product is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease.


Replace Soda with Herbal Drinks to Cool the Body

Replace Soda with Herbal Drinks to Cool the Body

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- > Cambia las sodas por bebidas herbales para refrescar el cuerpo

Why drink soda when you can prepare a simple drink with nutritious ingredients?

Many different herbs and foods are known as cooling foods in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda (traditional medicine with origins in India). 

One of those well known in Central America and throughout Mexico is the hibiscus flower. Hibiscus, also known as ‘Flor de Jamaica’ is a cooling herb and making a tea with hibiscus or even using hibiscus tea as a base for lemonade is a great way to cool the body on a hot day. 

Make sure to ditch the sugar and try a natural sweetener like honey or stevia.  Hibiscus is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and may even contribute to lower blood pressure.

Another one of my favorite drinks with roots in Colombia is ‘limonada de coco.’ Think limeade meets coconut! Usually, it is blended coconut cream, ice, lime juice, and sugar. This drink can be modified to add mint and make it extra refreshing! Again, try using low-glycemic coconut sugar, stevia, or honey.

Mint is also a cooling herb and blending it with coconut milk, and lime juice makes for a great drink! The healthy fat in coconut is a great way to satisfy cravings, while the natural oils in mint may aid digestion. You get a boost of vitamin C from the lime as well as essential minerals from the coconut like manganese, selenium, and copper.

If you crave something carbonated, try blending fresh fruit and adding flavored sparkling water.

My favorite combination is passionfruit sparkling water with fresh mango! A great way to get in a serving of vitamin A. Try the recipe below and tag us!

Limonada de Coco


1 1/2 c. Cream of Coconut

Juice of 4 limes

2 cups ice

Sweetener of choice to taste

Blend and enjoy!

Being Spiritual

Being Spiritual

By Patricia Prychodny

Click aqui para español- >Ser espiritual

We are spiritual people when we wake up and begin to see and feel that the material things are something we need, but that in order for things to work properly, it’s much more important to attain a state of wellbeing within. 

Many people ask me... does being spiritual have anything to do with religion? And I say to them, “we all have our religious beliefs, but spirituality is what each individual has inside him, his peace, his light and his inner harmony.” 

That peace we all seek is acquired through learning how to respond to our experiences. When we go through moments of chaos, pain, or uncertainty, and we react in a proper way, we find a light that shines to show us the way. Responding positevely to bad situations gives us an understanding that things happen the way the are supposed to happen, which takes away anxiety.

Being a spiritual person also takes living in the present. This does not mean we forget our past, but it means we allow things to take their own course. To be spiritual we need to stop being the victim and to forget the question “why me?” Instead, we need to analyze the teaching and the purpose of each situation and move forward.

Whenever you need an answer to an issue, look inside yourself. That wonderful being within you holds a lot of wisdom and is always willing to help you. I assure you: your soul will give you the direction to solve any problem. That solution will also come from a place of love and coherence with your heart.

A spiritual person accepts without sacrifice. You are a  spiritual person when you don’t allow outside factors interfere with your inner peace. Remember that changes are positive when your work on your inner self. How you are within will reflect on the exterior. Remember as you learn from yourself, you can also learn from everyone who crosses your path.

There are several routines that help us find our spirituality:

Accept your mistakes

Do not judge the actions of others

Meditate at least 5 minutes a day

Be in touch with beautiful nature

Love and believe in yourself

The latter is the main one because it allows us to love others and accept them as they are.

 Jumpstart Weight Loss with Intermittent Fasting


Jumpstart Weight Loss with Intermittent Fasting 

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Acelere la pérdida de peso con ayuno intermitente

Somewhere along your weight loss journey, you may hit a plateau where your body becomes too comfortable with diet and workout routines and is no longer being challenged physically. You cannot seem to lose that extra 5, 10, fill in the blank number of pounds. That is when various forms of fasting can be beneficial. 

One of the most popular trends in the paleo and functional medicine world is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is fasting from food from very early in the evening until early afternoon or late morning the next day. It usually works out to be a fast beginning after an early dinner and continuing until lunch the following day, approximately 16 hours. It’s great because most of your fasting hours are spent sleeping!


About 3 years ago, I began to incorporate intermittent fasting into my daily routine. It wasn’t long until I began to see noticeable changes in the way my clothes were fitting. Within a year, I had dropped excess weight and felt amazing!

The benefits of intermittent fasting are numerous - it encourages the cleansing of the body on a cellular level, helps to regulate metabolism and blood sugar and aids in weight loss while reducing inflammation. Just remember to eat a healthy, protein-rich meal when you break your fast!

If you are the type who can wake up early and not feel like you need to have breakfast until later in the day, you may want to consider intermittent fasting. Even if you aren’t, you can fast a little longer each day to get your body used to it. 

Consult your doctor before beginning any fasting cycles, especially if you have metabolic issues or are currently on medication.  




By Patricia Prychodny

Click aqui para español- > Resiliencia

Resilience is the ability of some, or most likely, all human beings to adapt positively to complex experiences and situations. Resilience is also the ability to overcome the adverse by looking at difficult moments from a different perspective.

We know people who have gone through many difficult situations, and we’ve seen them recover and continue their lives happily, despite having felt so much pain. They find a lesson in every situation, and even in the most negative moments, they acquire great wisdom and learn to flow through life in a very positive way.

You can learn to be resilient by training yourself to always find a way to synchronize with each experience received. Remember that you can overcome any obstacle. Accept the idea that you can overcome any pain. Life does not give you more than you can handle. When you look at suffering in a kind way, it makes you more human.

It is up to you to find the way to move forward in life and to decide how you will adapt to different situations. People who are resilient often say that it is thanks to what happened to them that they are better humans, because they managed to face their challenges.

Do not look for justification to avoid being happy. Be a positive person. Remember that you are here, in this life, in this present, to live what you must live.

By going through an internal growth, you can be the person who will be able to help many others who are going through similar situations. You are here to become a great teacher through the lessons received from your own experience.

Never ignore how strong you are and always work on your inner growth. Remember that life is a constant lesson, so don’t get carried away by negativity and go chase your goals!

Above all, accept your reality and flow with everything around you.

With lots of love,

Patricia Prychodny

“Doctor, When do I Need to Take My Child to the Emergency Room?”

“Doctor, When do I Need to Take My Child to the Emergency Room?”

By Mamatha Ananth, M.D., and Arturo Gastañaduy, M.D., A&G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >“Doctor, ¿cuándo debo llevar a mi niño a la Sala de Emergencia?”

For all parents, their children are the most precious persons in their lives. Thus, this is an important discussion during a well-child visit. Every year 24 million patients 0-18 years are seen in the Emergency Room. CDC estimates an average of 2 hours for waiting and treatment time. The cost of ER visits is $500-$10,000. One third to one half of all ER visits are non-urgent.

As nobody wants to waste time or money, here are some guidelines for when to bring a child to the Emergency Room:


  1. Trouble Breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Rapid or shallow breathing              
  • Blue lips
  • Choking/Gasping
  • Not breathing


  1. Seizures/Loss of Consciousness/ “Too sleepy”/ “Unusual behavior”

If a child has a seizure, lay him on his side to prevent choking. Tongue injuries are rare, therefore do not put anything in his mouth. Call 911 and monitor how long the seizure lasts.

  1. Injuries
  • Motor Vehicle, skiing, horse-riding
  • Head trauma
  • Drowning/Water sport injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Burns: blistering, electrical, smoke exposure
  • Falls greater than three feet
  • Loss/Displaced permanent teeth
  • Stabs, gunshot wounds
  • Suspected fractures/dislocations
  • Cuts > ½ inch, persistent bleeding


  1. Poisonings

Children with ingestion or exposure to chemicals, cleaning agents or medications need to be evaluated. Call POISON CONTROL 1(800)-222-1222, follow their advice and go to the nearest ER.

Do not provoke vomiting; it could worsen the situation. If a chemical got into the eyes, rinse them well with water.

  1. Allergic Reactions

Wheals all over, trouble breathing, and fainting may occur with eating some foods (e.g.: nuts, seafood, pork), medications, insect bites or stings or contact with Poison Ivy/Oak. If your child is known to be allergic and you have an Epi-Pen, please use it and go to the ER.


  1. Sickle Cell Patients with:

Fever, severe pain not improving with usual treatment, distended painful abdomen and increased pallor and tiredness.

  1. Foreign Body Ingestions

Coins and other small objects can obstruct the airway or alimentary tract. Batteries and magnets produce serious injuries by different mechanisms.

  1. Skin

New red or purple spots that do not blanch

Rapidly enlarging red and painful areas

Large boils (> 5cms)

  1. Abdominal Pain

Severe pain localized to one area of the belly in a child who is not eating or playing.

  1. Chest Pain

Chest pain is rare and much less serious in children than in adults. Heart beating too fast or funny, fainting.

  1. Fever

Fever is defined as rectal temperature greater than 100.4 °F or 38.0 °C. Oral, Axillary and other area temperatures are usually lower than the rectal one. Most cases of fever are viral infections that resolve on their own and patients may be seen in the clinic by their doctor. Fever could be dangerous and need ER evaluation in patients with the following:

  • Age less than three months
  • Seizures, lethargy, altered mental status
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cancer or chemotherapy
  • Belly pain with bilious vomiting, bloody stools
  • Non blanching red/purple spots
  • Swollen, painful joints or limbs
  1. Gastrointestinal

Bilious vomiting, bloody stools or vomiting and diarrhea with decreased activity and urination.

  1. Genitourinary
  • Bloody urine
  • Severe lumbar pain radiating to genitals
  • Lower abdominal pain in adolescent girls
  • Swollen painful genitals in both sexes
  1. Bites
  • Deep/multiple dog/cat bites (unknown or unvaccinated)
  • Wild animals: bats, raccoons, foxes, snakes
  • Insects bite/sting with difficulty breathing
  1. Psychiatric/Social
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
  • Hearing or seeing things that are not there
  • Violent behavior
  • Physical or sexual abuse

Reasons to bring children to the doctor’s office or urgent care and NOT to the Emergency Room:

  • Colds
  • Earache
  • Pink eye
  • Diaper rash
  • Constipation
  • Colic
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Checkups, shots

Summer Sunshine and Your Daily Dose: How to Obtain More Vitamin D

Summer Sunshine and Your Daily Dose: How to Obtain More Vitamin D

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Dosis diaria de sol de verano: Cómo obtener más vitamina D

Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” and June in New Orleans is a great time to soak it all up! Vitamin D is absorbed by our bodies via ultraviolet rays from the sun. After it is absorbed by the skin, it undergoes a process of synthesis before being utilized. More than just a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D also acts as a hormone with receptors present on cells throughout nearly every system in the body. It can affect mood as well as our immune system. 

So, what is the best way to get more? Well first, we must consider how our bodies absorb vitamin D through sun exposure and the foods that we eat. With sun exposure, the amount of melanin in our skin may contribute to how easily vitamin D is synthesized by our body. Those with lighter skin absorb vitamin D faster and may require only about 10-15 minutes in direct sunlight on exposed skin (without sunscreen). Others with darker skin may require up to 30 minutes.

Anyone with skin conditions or those with a sensitivity to the sun may want to obtain their vitamin D through foods and supplements.

Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels and determine if you need a supplement.

Consume foods with high levels of naturally occurring vitamin D such as cod liver oil, eggs, mushrooms, and salmon.

Find Your Balance With Reiki

Find Your Balance With Reiki

By Patricia Prychodny 

Click aqui para español- >Encuentra tu balance con el Reiki

What does the word Reiki mean? Reiki is a Sanskrit word. REI means universal life and KI means vital energy.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a technique of channeling and transmitting vital energy through the laying on of hands.

What is Reiki used for?

Reiki is used to obtain peace and balance on all levels, both physically and mentally, as well as emotionally and spiritually. Reiki is a great tool for stress reduction and relaxation. Many people use Reiki for wellness. Reiki is not a cure for a disease or illness, but it may assist the body in creating an environment to facilitate healing. Reiki is a great tool to use as a complement to traditional medicine and is practiced in many hospitals and medical care settings.

Where does Reiki come from?

Reiki is of Japanese origin and was discovered by a monk named Mikao Usui in the mid-nineteenth century.

Who can practice it? All human beings can practice Reiki. Even unconsciously, many times, we do it with our children or loved ones. But to understand it and achieve a conscious channeling, we need a guide.

How can one learn Reiki?

 The learning of Reiki consists of three levels. The first level is the initiation to Reiki, which focuses on learning how to tune into the universe, learn the symbols of Reiki and how to apply Reiki using the tools taught at this level. In this first level, we learn how to use a breathing technique called HARA. We also learn to identify the Chakras, meditation techniques, and to feel the energy in the hands. It is a very special inner journey for the student.

Th e second level teaches us to channel the energy, so that it can be sent from a distance, and thus, be able to help other people using more advanced symbols.

Th e third level is to obtain the final master, which enables you to teach it to others.

In my own experience, Reiki has been one of the most beautiful gift s I have received. It has given me the opportunity to heal myself, and I have also been able to help many others who needed healing. 

Join us for a Reiki workshop in Spanish on Saturday, May 18th from 8am to 2pm. For more details about the workshop, call 504-458-0311.  - -


Sugary Sweet - Treat Yourself Without the Guilt

Sugary Sweet - Treat Yourself Without the Guilt
By Lia Threat @wellnesswithlia

Click aqui para español- >Antojos dulces - Un gusto sin culpa.

May brings with it all the indulgences: festival grub, snowballs, ice cream, and sweet treats. How does one keep their sugar consumption in check with all the temptation?

To reduce daily sugar consumption, run down this mental list of questions:







Sugar comes in many forms- it is usually added to food under the guise of other names such as brown rice syrup, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, dextrose, and sucrose. Th ere are more than 50 names for various forms of sugar!

Becoming familiar with the most common names will help you scan food labels before buying.

Beware! If a product lists a form of sugar as the first or second ingredient, it is likely very high in sugar per serving. Food labels list ingredients from largest to smallest so look before buying. To avoid excess sugar, keep homemade treats on hand that are naturally sweetened.

Try this frozen yogurt popsicle recipe:

• 6-8 oz container of plain, unsweetened yogurt
• 2 ripe mangos cubed or 1 1/2 cup berries
• Splash of coconut milk to thin
• (Optional) fresh mint, Stevia, or honey
• Blend, pour in popsicle molds and freeze
• Enjoy!

Spring is Here! Get Outdoors and Get Moving!

Spring is Here! Get Outdoors and Get Moving!

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >¡Sal al aire libre y muévete esta primavera!

Spring in New Orleans usually means a beautiful, albeit short, season before the heat kicks in around Jazz Fest. Consider taking advantage of the moderate temperatures by planning outdoor activities and family functions.

Add physical activity to your next gathering

Family and food are an essential part of New Orleans culture. You may want to try integrating physical activities into family picnics, so everyone has an opportunity to get involved. Something as simple as bringing a ball along can make for a few hours of fun while burning calories!

Think about which activities you enjoyed as a child

Many times, going back to some of those activities can really inspire you to exercise without feeling as if it is a burden. Examples are swimming, biking, enjoying a nature trail, gardening, spending time near the ocean, or even signing up for a spring marathon! For those interested in biking, the blue bikes around the city of New Orleans have been a big hit! Play tourist for a day and check out how to use them at bluebikesnola.com.

Be open to new forms of exercise

You may want to try kayaking for the first time or take tennis lessons. Whatever it may be, challenging your body and your muscles in a new way can add variety to your routine. You may even discover a new form of exercise that you truly enjoy! Just remember to stay hydrated and aim for morning and evening workouts to avoid the midday heat!


Spring Brings Bites and Stings!

Spring Brings Bites and Stings!

By Arturo Gastanaduy MD - www.a-g-pediatrics.com

Click aqui para español- >La primavera trae picaduras y aguijonazo

Insects resurface with warmer temperatures. These small creatures are the most common and diverse type of animals on Earth. Over 90% of animals are insects and there are more than one million species identified.

The most common blood sucking insects are mosquitoes, flies and fleas. Their saliva produces small itchy pale-red hives that improve spontaneously in a few days. Nevertheless, insect bites may produce severe allergic reactions, become infected, or may transmit serious illness like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, viral encephalitis, etc. Most of these illnesses are rare in the USA; however, we have several hundred cases of encephalitis every year Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. They are more active at dawn and dusk, are attracted by bright colors and sweat and bite exposed areas of skin. Flies are attracted to food, garbage and animal excreta. Fleas are more frequent in homes with pets and they usually bite under clothing. Fleas can survive in carpets for a long time

Bees, wasps, hornets, and ants do not bite but sting. They do not transmit systemic illnesses but are responsible for half of human deaths which are due to a severe allergic reaction to the venom

Reactions to bites and stings are usually less than two inches in diameter; 10 % of people will have large (≥ four inches) and painful local reactions. Both can be treated with cold compresses, calamine lotion, cortisone cream, cetirizine or loratadine for itching and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.

The area should be washed with cold water and soap. It should be kept clean and scratching should be avoided to prevent infection. Bee stingers are barbed, and they remain with the venom sack on victim’s skin. They should be removed quickly to decrease the dose of venom received. Severe allergic reactions to stings develop quickly and include generalized hives and swelling away from stung area; hoarseness, throat or chest tightness, wheezing, difficult breathing; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain; lightheadedness, dizziness, and passing out.

If any of these symptoms occur, call 911. If your child is known to have severe allergic reactions, your doctor may have prescribed EpiPen that should be administered to the lateral side of the thigh immediately.

Prevention is best by utilizing insect screens, removing objects that can hold water around your house, clean clogged gutters, use insecticides and pest control to eliminate ants, bees and wasp nests, staying inside at dawn and dusk, wearing closed shoes, long pants and long sleeve shirts outdoors, avoiding bright colors, and using insect repellents.

The most effective repellents are DEET based. DEET is safe for pregnant women and infants older than two months. Thin spray over exposed skin and clothes is enough. Do not spray under clothes or on the hands of small children who will touch their mouths and eyes. To protect their faces, spray a little of it on your hands, rub them together, and then apply over their faces including the ears.

Achoo! Achoo! ...Spring Is Here!

Achoo! Achoo! ...Spring Is Here!

By Arturo Gastanaduy, MD.

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >¡Atchis, Atchis! ¡La primavera ha llegado!

Green lawns, full bloom trees and multicolor flowers bring the pleasant sound of birds singing telling us that spring is here. However, we also will be hearing lots of sneezing, pointing out that allergic rhinitis (AR) season has also come back.

Allergic rhinitis is very common, especially in young people, affecting close to 20% of children and adolescents. It is more frequent in boys than girls and in persons with family history of allergies and maternal smoking. People with AR have three times more chances of developing asthma.

The illness is caused by hypersensitivity reaction of the nasal mucosa to foreign substances (allergens). Re-exposure produces an immediate reaction that produces vasodilation, mucosal swelling, increased mucus secretion and increased sneezing. Classical symptoms are itchy, congested nose, profuse and clear nasal discharge, frequent sneezing, loss of sense of smell, and itchy, red, teary eyes.

It is not a life-threatening illness, but it produces adverse effects on the quality of life of affected persons. It has been associated with sinus infections, asthma attacks, disturbed sleep, snoring, tiredness, poor school performance, puffy dark circles under eyes, mouth breathing, dental malocclusion, and transversal nasal crease.

Historically, allergic rhinitis was classified as seasonal or perennial. Seasonal was usually caused by tree, grass or ragweed pollens while perennial was caused by indoor allergens, like animal dander, house dust mites and mold spores. The World Health Organization has classified AR based on duration of symptoms as intermittent (<4 days/week or <4 weeks/year) and, persistent (>4 days/week or >4 weeks/year). This classification is more helpful to develop a management plan. Diagnosis of AR is based on medical history and physical exam, and occasionally specific tests are needed. AR is a chronic condition and there is no cure for it; nevertheless, it can be controlled, resulting in better quality of life of affected individuals.

Every person is unique, and the symptoms are variable, therefore, treatment must be individualized and may need to be modified. Do not expect a “magic pill” from the doctor, but instead ask for a treatment plan and how to evaluate it. Most likely, the plan will include changes at home and of life style to decrease exposure to allergens, some medications like nasal corticosteroids, non-sedating oral antihistamines, etc.

Most of the patients can be managed by their primary care doctor. Sometimes referral to an allergist may be necessary.

Do You Really Need that Expensive Cleanse?

Do You Really Need that Expensive Cleanse?

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >¿Realmente necesitas esa limpieza costosa?

With spring approaching, our bodies naturally begin a process of renewal. During this time of the year, many may also consider a whole-body cleanse. Before starting an expensive program, consider these alternative ways to support the body without the price tag.

  1. Eliminate Toxins Sweating is a way in which our bodies expel toxins. Aside from exercise, a few options to detox are to utilize a steam room or sauna. Ask your gym about these amenities!
  2. Control Incoming Toxins Eat organic or consume foods not heavily sprayed with pesticides. Lowering the toxin load on the body can have a tremendous effect on how you feel. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen." These lists of fruits and vegetables are tested yearly to determine the number of pesticides each product contains. Even if some people cannot afford organic, they can avoid heavily sprayed foods listed at the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list and choose foods that are locally grown. Check out www.ewg.org for 2019 listings.
  3. Remove Toxins with Food One way is to add cilantro to your smoothies, salads, or meals. The body releases toxins that may recirculate in the blood unless they bind to something to be carried out. Cilantro is a fantastic herb that acts as a magnet or “binder” to toxins like heavy metals and safely removes them from the body.

As always, consult a medical or health professional before starting a detox or cleanse program.


Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

By Patricia Prychodny

Click aqui para español- >¡Cree en ti!

Never give up on your dreams.

Aiming to attain our dream allows us to reach high and far. Remember that success always comes with its ups and downs, but only you decide where you want to stop.

By overcoming life’s challenges and by acting in accordance with your decisions and desires you will rise above and achieve all of your goals.

You must have the strength to persevere. You will become so great that you will feel proud of who you are.

Life will give you many tests, but the most beautiful thing is that the universe will listen to your requests. When you feel that you are alone, remember that you have the most beautiful beings of light called angels that support you and are always with you, emanating their best energies for you to receive them.

Try to always be attentive to the signals that these angels are constantly sending you, guiding you and telling you to keep moving forward, to not give up on what you want and what you believe in, and to never limit how far you will go.

You can achieve your life goals! That power is unique and if you let that light carry you through, your knowledge and wisdom will open you up to an unimaginable dimension. Always remember how great you are. Remember your value, trust your heart, and reach the peak that you desire so much.

This is how you can build the foundation and the staircase to achieving your goals. Believe in yourself! These messages are the best advice I have to offer.

Always be reminded that you can achieve much more than you think.

It’s Mardi Gras Season! Have fun but be careful!

It’s Mardi Gras Season! Have fun but be careful!

By Arturo Gastanaduy, MD.

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >¡En temporada de Mardi Gras, diviértase con cuidado!

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday in French, is the last day of Carnival. The season is celebrated with King Cakes, gold, purple and green decorations, costumes, masks, bead necklaces, parades, and parties with lots of delicious foods and drinks.

New Orleans has a long tradition of Mardi Gras celebration and it is one of the most famous in the world. The first parade was in 1837, the first float appeared in 1857 and beads in 1900. Mardi Gras season is a lot of fun, but there are some common health problems associated with it.

Trauma: Bruises, cuts, sprains, concussions, dislocations, and even fractures caused by trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents, projectiles, etc. The most common ones are smashed fingers, sprained ankles, wrist fractures, and head or face contusions caused by projectile bead bags. Elbow subluxation and eye scratches also occur. Tendinitis and feet friction blisters are frequent in dancers and marching band members. Watch your footing, be aware of the curbs, fences, potholes, projectiles, moving vehicles, etc. Be sure that children’s ladders are well designed and placed in a safe spot at least 6 feet inside the curb. Wear comfortable previously used shoes with double socks (thinner inside). Pay attention to your children and minimize cell phone use.


Cold injuries, sunburns and dehydration may occur, especially in children. Plenty of water, sunscreen and layered clothing to adjust to weather changes are recommended.

Foreign bodies:

Every pediatrician in New Orleans has had to remove beads from ears and noses of children. The procedure could be easy or traumatic, sometimes requiring an ear nose and throat consultant. Infants and small children have a high risk of choking with a bead or small toy like a king cake doll. Prevent little children playing with small objects.

Gastrointestinal Problems:

Parties, outside cooking, previously prepared meals, multiple food handlers and lack of bathrooms and hand-washing facilities, provide opportunities for the food to become contaminated. Food poisoning and stomach infections may occur. Sometimes outbreaks develop from a common food source. Keep food refrigerated, use disposable utensils, minimize the number of food handlers, use hand sanitizer and wash hands with water and soap whenever possible.

Drugs, alcohol, sex:

These are potential problems for adolescents. Parties with lack of supervision provide the opportunity to experiment and for risk-taking behaviors. Remember that small children can get intoxicated by partially filled cups they find lying around. Watch and counsel your children, be sure you know where they are and with whom as well as who is supervising them.

Making Healthier Choices During Parade Season and Lent

Making Healthier Choices During Parade Season and Lent

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Toma decisiones saludables durante los desfiles y la cuaresma

It is already hard enough to make (and keep) New Year's resolutions, but in New Orleans, it is extra challenging with Mardi Gras season opening soon after the new year begins. So, how does one start off strong and stay resilient through the partying, parades, and king cake? Below are five tips to stay on track and manage the bulge of the season through Lent:

1.Set Intentions Setting an intention, writing it down, and seeking support are key to staying committed to goals. Start small with a goal that is attainable, such as decreasing your daily intake of added sugar.

  1. Plan If you know you will be attending parades or parties on certain days, eat light and healthily for the remainder of the week. Eat vegetables and protein-rich meals before attending any functions and choose select days you will indulge. The key is balance!
  2. Hydrate Hydration is key to not only weight loss, but also to keeping digestion on track and balancing an influx of toxins such as alcohol. If you know you will be out parading, bring plenty of water with you. Drink water before attending parades and after consuming any alcoholic beverages.
  3. Choose whole foods and short ingredient lists Fill your plates with whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Try to avoid overly processed and refined foods with long ingredient lists. (These usually contain toxins, preservatives, and chemicals).
  4. Look for healthier seafood dishes During Lent, when eating out or meal-planning, look for dishes that are baked, grilled or boiled over those that are deep-fried, covered in butter, cream, or heavy sauces.

Enjoy the 2019 Parade season and laissez les bon temps rouler!!

“Bronchiolitis in my baby’s daycare …What is that?”

“Bronchiolitis in my baby’s daycare …What is that?”

By Arturo Gastanaduy

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >Bronquiolitis en la guardería de mi bebé” …¿Qué es eso

Bronchiolitis is the inflammation of the bronchioles which are the smallest airways of the lungs. This inflammation is caused mainly by a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). RSV is so highly contagious that everyone has been infected before reaching two years of age. Typical outbreaks of RSV occur yearly between November and April.

Most of the illnesses associated with RSV are mild to moderate, but the disease is more severe in infants and adults over 65 years of age. RSV causes 2 million outpatient visits and 60,000 hospitalizations per year in children and 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in senior citizens.

The illness begins with runny nose followed by sneezing, cough, congestion, fever, fast respiration and wheezing. By the third to fifth day of illness, children present difficulties while breathing, chest retractions, irritability and problems with eating and sleeping. Frightening periods of stopping breathing may occur. The length of the illness duration is about two weeks and it resolves spontaneously. Breast fed babies have milder disease.

Severe disease occurs more commonly in younger infants, premature or low-birth weight babies, and those with chronic lung or heart disease, neuromuscular disorders and immunosuppression. Common complications include viral pneumonia and ear infections and there is some association of RSV with the development of asthma.

Diagnosis can be made based on symptoms and the time of the year and can be confirmed with a nose swab sample test. There is not routinely used specific treatment for RSV infections. Therefore, supportive treatment is recommended with frequent nasal saline drops and nose suction, encouraging fluid intake, and fever control. Very sick patients may require intravenous fluids, and oxygen in hospital. Ribavirin aerosol can be used for high-risk hospitalized patients.

Infection does not produce immunity. Multiple re-infections are the rule, producing common-cold-like illness. There is no vaccine for RSV but monthly injections of RSV antibodies (Palivizumab) during the RSV season are available for high risk infants.

You could decrease the chances of RSV in your children by avoiding contact with sick people and practicing good hygiene with frequent hand washing.

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