Blog - Dr. Kate Naumes||Holistic Wellness
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19 Aug Natural Solutions for Helping Prevent Mosquito Bites

Name of Expedition: Panama Canal Zone Participants: Seth E. Meek, Samuel F. Hildebrand Expedition Start Date: 1911 Expedition End Date: 1912  Purpose or Aims: Zoology (Fishes) Location: Central America, Panama, Canal Zone  Original material: album print Digital Identifier: CSZ33983

As you may already be aware, the Texas Department of State Health Services has commissioned aerial spraying of the chemical Duet. The most up to date information regarding the spraying can be found at the City of Dallas’ website.

The City of Dallas has issued the following recommendations:

  • Minimize exposure. Avoid being outside, close windows and consider keeping pets inside while spraying occurs.
  • If skin or clothes are exposed, wash them with soap and water.
  • Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables with water as a general precautionary measure.
  • Cover small ornamental fish ponds.
  • Because the chemical breaks down quickly in sunlight and water, no special precautions are suggested for outdoor swimming areas.

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Now, everyone knows that taking precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and possible disease spread is very important, but excessive exposure to synthetic, chemically-based insect repellents can cause long term harm.  Furthermore, the most common ingredient used in commercial insect repellents, DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluidine), is not recommended for use on children under two months of age or on pregnant women.

If you do use DEET-based repellents, read the label and make sure you use them according to the manufacturer’s’ guidelines. A certain amount of DEET can be absorbed through your skin and into your bloodstream, and in large doses it can make you seriously ill. DEET can act as an irritant, and has been reported to be the cause of seizures, insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive function. The NHS and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) say that products containing 50 percent DEET are safe to use while pregnant, however we don’t know much about the possible harmful effects on the developing baby.

Beware of misting systems that contain permethrin, a neurotoxin that is dangerously toxic to cats, and potentially dangerous to humans. Also of concern is the new Off! Clip-on, which contains the chemical Metofluthrin, known to cause severe neurotoxic symptoms in dogs, rabbits, and rats. To minimize your exposure,  replace any old air filters in your home in addition to using an additional air purification system, if you own one.

Fortunately, there are many safer options to help ward off the pesky suckers:

  • Wear protective clothing that is loose-fitting and light in color.
  • Avoid wearing bright or floral patterns.
  • Use unscented shampoo, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, etc.
  • Refrain from wearing perfume.
  • High quality garlic capsules can work wonders in preventing mosquito bites.
  • Use mosquito netting when outside for prolonged periods, especially over strollers, baby carriers and car seats when the baby is sitting in them outside.
  • Eliminate standing water around your home.
  • Plant mosquito repellent herbs such as rosemary, lemon balm, lavender, basil and catnip.

Try one of the following more natural mosquito repellents:

  • Skeeter Screen’s Patio Eggs and reed diffusers utilize bug-deterring essential oils to repel mosquitoes over a space of about 200 square feet.
  • Adults and older children can apply undiluted vanilla essential oil to pulse points (wrists, neck, ankles) to repel mosquitoes with a pleasant smell.
  • A homemade repellent can be made using a low (2-4 percent) dilution of essential oils such as eucalyptus and/or lemon eucalyptus with a base, such as jojoba, or almond oil mixed in a spray bottle.  This can be applied to children over the age of two and is safe for pregnant women.  Spray only on children’s clothes away from their eyes, like the backs of shirts and shorts and on socks and shoes.
  • Cinnamon and peppermint are also effective in warding off mosquitoes. Cinnamon can burn, so it is not advised to use with small children.
  • Look for safer repellent sprays available for purchase that contain P-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD). PMD is the active ingredient in oil of lemon eucalyptus and is in the most widely-used Chinese insect repellent, quwenling.  Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Lotion and Spray Lotion, Survivor Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Off! Botanical Insect Repellent are good choices. However, PMD is roughly half as effective as DEET, so reapply as necessary.
  • Repellents that contain picaridin, a plant-derived compound, have an excellent tolerability profile, in contrast to DEET. Picaridin is odorless, non-sticky, and non-greasy; it also does not irritate skin, stain fabrics, or degrade plastics. Look for Sawyer Insect Repellent, Cutter Advanced, and Cutter Advanced Sport.

The risks and benefits DEET, Duet and other pesticides will likely be debated for some time. In the meantime, at least for Dallas residents, the aerial spraying continues. Have further questions? Schedule an appointment to set up a cleanse to optimize your detoxification system so that your body can best eliminate DEET and other environmental toxins. As Alejandro Junger MD so beautifully explains, “cleansing is turning up the intensity and effectiveness of the detoxification system.”

written by Kate Naumes ND and Andrea Kavanaugh

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13 Jul How Naturopathic Doctors Are Proving the Value of Integrative Medicine

Here is a great article recently posted by the Huffington Post:

In the mid-1980s, leaders of the reemerging naturopathic medical profession faced a tough challenge. They had to make the case for a scientific basis for their field prior to any history of federal support for naturopathic research.

The naturopathic physician authors of such pioneering volumes as the Textbook of Natural Medicine and bestselling, consumer-focused counterpart the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine searched the world’s literature. They referenced diverse studies on diet, therapeutic nutrition, lifestyle, stress and exercise and profession’s whole person, multi-modality, natural therapeutic-focused form of integrative medicine.

Many of these references were gleaned from conventional medical literature. Bottom line: The reemergence of naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) owed a significant debt to research of their medical doctor (M.D.) colleagues.

Read the rest of John Weeks’ article here.

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30 Jan Eco-friendly, holistic health loving mom’s checklist

 

The lovely blog tinydallas has a regularly occurring “moms we love” segment.

“Not too long ago, Dr. Kate Naumes weighed in with a post on how to keep the kiddos healthy during flu season using natural remedies. Dr. Naumes is a naturopathic doctor that works with women and children, showing them how to use various holistic methods to maintain and improve their health. I’ve always been intrigued by (and a big believer in) the practice of holistic medicine and was eager to learn more about this former Oregonian, now an Oak Cliff resident. So without further adieu, here’s a peek into her world….”

Read more here

Also, if you haven’t checked out this blog and you live in DFW it is a delight to read.  I count myself lucky to be included in its posts.  Thank you tinydallas.

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01 Dec Natural Childbirth: Is it worth it?

Most expecting women will go out of their way to prepare for a healthy baby and to ensure the safest and healthiest birthing experience.  However, today epidurals are de rigueur, and many women mistakenly believe that a hospital birth is the best – or only – option. The fact is, for most women a natural birth is statistically safer than a medicated or Caesarian birth.

When it comes to having a baby, the least amount of intervention is best, assuming there are no complications. Ideally, a birth would take place at a free-standing birth center, or in your own home, with the care of a certified professional midwife (CPM) and a doula for support. CPMs are some of the best trained professionals for non-medicalized births.

Other options include, in order of most hands-off to most intervention-driven, certified nurse midwives, family practice doctors and OB/GYNs. Your chances of having an instrumental delivery go up just based on where you go.

If you want to have a healthy, safe, and natural birth, there are a few steps you should take to prepare yourself:

  • If you aren’t convinced that attempting a natural birth is right for you, educate yourself on the risks of epidurals and Caesarian deliveries to your baby and yourself.  For example, epidurals increase the risk of a forceps delivery and of vacuum extraction, both of which can negatively impact you and your child’s health.
  • Take child birth education classes to prepare for your big day.
  • Hire a doula to comfort and care for you.
  • Make sure your partner is prepared and supportive – this can come in many shapes and sizes.

Sometimes, due to complications, women cannot always deliver their baby naturally.  However, education and preparation through simple measures during preconception, as well a  professional midwife and doula, greatly increases the chances of natural birth. If an epidural is necessary or preferred, there are steps new mothers should take.  Ideally schedule an appointment or two with Dr. Naumes before your birth and then another one in the first week after delivery so that she can help support you during this healing process.

Keep in mind that although natural birth may be painful, it is worth it. Giving birth is a peak life experience, and normally the discomfort you will feel during a natural birth will be outweighed by the euphoria and love you feel after you deliver your baby.

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