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April 7, 2022

Nutritional interventions for depression and anxiety in children

Depression and anxiety are extremely common conditions that affect millions of children in the United States.  The CDC estimates 9.4% of children have clinically significant anxiety, and 4.4% of

March 3, 2021

I think my child has PANDAS. What do I do next?

What is PANDAS?  PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infection. This condition is characterized by a sudden onset of psychiatric sympto

February 10, 2021

Pathological Demand Avoidance: An Unrecognized, Important Subtype of Autism

Have you ever seen a child in your clinic who presents as “a little autistic, but not quite”? Perhaps nine-year-old Anna* makes good eye contact, speaks eloquently, and greets you like a talkative

June 18, 2019

A naturopathic approach to preventing tick-borne diseases in kids. Part III – Building a Tick-Kit

This article is the second in a three-part series on the prevention tick-borne diseases in children and families.  Part I reviews the timing of tick activity, types of ticks, diseases involved, a

June 12, 2019

A naturopathic approach to preventing tick-borne diseases in kids. Part II – preventing tick bites.

This article is the second in a three-part series on the prevention tick-borne diseases in children and families.  Part I reviews the timing of tick activity, types of ticks, diseases involved, a

June 4, 2019

A naturopathic approach to preventing tick-borne diseases in kids. Part I – Types of Ticks, Timing, and Geography

  This article is the first in a three-part series on the prevention tick-borne diseases in children and families.  This article, part I, goes over the timing of tick activity, types of tick

April 23, 2019

Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals? A Guide to Testing for Nutritional Deficiencies (Part 3 – Iron)

Could your child have an iron deficiency? Iron deficiency is very common in kids, especially in infants and teen girls. Read on for the signs of iron deficiency, how to test for it, and what you can d

Meet Dr. Currey

Welcome, my name is Danielle, I am a mother of two middle schoolers, doctor, teacher, wife, knitter, and human being.  My family and I call Clackamas, Oregon our home, and we love, love, love living in the Northwest.  I have been practicing naturopathic medicine in my private clinic since October 2013, and living the principles of naturopathic medicine far longer.  My family and I focus on staying active, eating nourishing whole foods, being life-long learners, and doing what we love everyday.  This wasn’t always so easy. After some turmoil in our family life, a few moves, and a remarriage, my children...

A naturopathic approach to infant GERD/reflux

GER(D) is often the first diagnosis a baby receives, which can make it quite scary. What is GERD? GER(D) is gastroesophageal reflux (disease); it’s also called heartburn, reflux, or acid reflux. It occurs when the contents of the stomach reflux up into the esophagus. The pH of the stomach contents is quite low, or very acidic. The acid burns the esophagus, which is built for a much higher pH.  To clarify, a diagnosis of GER means that the symptom of reflux is occurring; a diagnosis of GERD indicates a larger disease process that includes reflux as a symptom. Why do stomach contents go...

What would happen if a second grade class took a trip through the digestive system?

Over the past several years, I have been working with school age children in the classroom, and I have had  the opportunity to teach nutrition, digestion, and elimination to the second graders of my husband's class three years in a row now.  This is a lot of fun, and and we all learn a lot. As a class project, one group wrote a book about an imaginary trip through the digestive system.  Here is the transcript: “Second Grade Digestion Adventure!” It was a normal day in second grade.  We were transcribing our Riggs words into our English Notebooks.  The words all had to do...

What to do if your child has a vaccine reaction

  So first of all, I want to say that vaccine reactions do happen.  Serious vaccine reactions for most standard children's vaccines are estimated to be quite rare, ranging from 1 in 100,000 to less than 1 in a million doses given.  (The exception to this is febrile seizures with the MMRV combination vaccine, or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella, which occur in an estimated 1 in 1,250 children.  Though febrile seizures do not cause permanent complications, they are scary as heck.  Unless a child has an urgent need to receive both vaccines at once there really is no reason to give both at the same...

Why I Practice and Why I Blog, by Dr. Teresa Neff

People ask me why I love working in pediatric naturopathic medicine so much. Well, aside from the babies being adorable and snuggly, and the kids being creative and inspiring, I love it because the strength of body and the inner healing power of a child is remarkable to observe. Naturopathic medicine holds that nature and the human body possess innate healing power, which we call the Vis Medicatrix Naturae, or the Vis for short. This means that left alone, nature and the human body will try to heal. Thus, we look to achieve healing by removing obstacles to healing, allowing nature...

Why you should not rely on lab tests alone.

Don't get me wrong, when I have a piece of paper that tells me when something is off- that is wonderful. Lab values are useful in the evaluation of disease and the monitoring of treatment. But, and this is a big but, laboratory tests are not supposed to be a doctors first line of gathering information. Medical labs are more common place than physical exam in many medical offices these days. I am not sure if this is because of insurance dictating time, or our over reliance on something "smarter" than us to diagnose disease. I would never dispute that it is...

What’s in Your Lunchbox: Tips and Tricks from the Experts

Packing healthy lunches that kids will eat can sometimes be tricky.  Many factors make it even more difficult: conflicting dietary advice, financial and time restrictions, food sensitivities or strong preferences, and school lunch policies. Our family faces all of the above issues, and has found an approach that works. We are gluten- and dairy-free, and we also exclude peanuts. (For everyone’s olfactory comfort!)  School lunches are obviously not an option.  Throw into that a tight budget and the rigorous schedules of a Naturopathic doctor, a second grade teacher, and two children who attend a school with high expectations for homework, and...

Introducing Solid Foods

This is an exciting event in a new parent’s life, but it can feel overwhelming and produce anxiety. There are different ways to introduce solid foods, and each method has ardent supporters and vehement detractors. Five different sources may give you five different “best” or “only” ways to do it. My goal is to provide clear information based on the latest scientific research. Evidence regarding solid food introduction is evolving as new research takes place. Some information you find is based on old research. The guidance I give is based on my understanding of the most current research in this...

Choosing Homeopathy for Your Children

Choosing Homeopathy for Children There are so many choices to make as parents these days. Natural childbirth or not? To nurse or bottle feed? Cloth diapers or disposable? Family bed or crib? How many years between children? What type of preschool or schooling? The choices and options for many families in our times are endless. So, too, for the kind of medical care to use. How much is safe to treat at home? When is it imperative to get the opinion of a trained medical professional? What if my partner and I don't agree? In my last 28 years of practice I...

When to NOT use essential oils (Essential oils can cause seizures in kids)

  1/3/2015. Update from Dr. Erika: DON'T THROW OUT YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS!  I've been getting a lot of comments from folks who read this article and are terrified to use essential oils now.  Please, read the article carefully - topical or diffused essential oils can be very safe and effective in kids when used correctly!  Remember to adjust dose to your child's weight - if 1-2 drops is effective for an adult, then 1/2, 1/5, or 1/10 of a drop may be effective (and safe) for your child.   When to NOT use essential oils Are you an essential oil user?  Chances are the...

Bacteria in the Placenta

An article was recently published in “Science Translational Medicine” entitled “The Placenta Harbors a Unique Microbiome”. The researchers collected placentas from 320 subjects and analyzed DNA to accurately identify which strains of microbial life were present. There's bacteria in the placenta? In the past, placentas and the intrauterine birth environment were thought to be sterile sites. This study shows that is simply not true. The researchers found microbiota from the Firmicutes, Tenericutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Fusobacteria phyla. But the most interesting piece of information is where did the placenta bacteria come from? Bacteria found in the placenta have to come from somewhere and you...

The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine, or How Red Sorrel Taught Me What I Already Know

I was recently diagnosed with a serious problem: red sorrel in my yard.  I knew it was there; I watched it spread from the parking area last summer to my yard this spring.  I saw those blades of beautiful red flowers waving in the breeze all over my yard.  But I had no idea that I had a problem.  When my neighbor came over and gave me the diagnosis, I tried not to panic.  I did what any good patient does - I got on the Internet.  I found some optimistic and cheery sights touting its great culinary and medicinal...

Tips for Eating Healthy on the Road

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Summer vacation season has officially arrived. One of the most common questions I get from parents in my practice is: How do I get my family to eat healthy meals on vacation? Short answer: It’s not easy, and it requires some planning. What to Expect When Eating on the Road with Kids First, I want to say that vacation is vacation, and to expect to eat 100% farm-fresh organic home-cooked meals is just not realistic. So let's all take a deep breath and give ourselves some grace to expect that things will not be perfect. My priority for families on...

Where does Autism Come from, Anyway?

Currently the causes of Autism are all theoretical in nature. It is appears that many causes come together to ‘flip on the switch’ for Autism. There is no ‘one cause’ for Autism. (Some of the) Theories for Autism causes: Genetics: One of the latest studies coming out has found that Autism may begin before birth, which lends to the theory that Autism is in part caused by the genetics of the child. The study found patches of disorganized neurons in the brains of Autistic children and these patches were found throughout the patients’ brains. (1) Environmental: The pollution that infants and pregnant women are...

Louse Patrol

Lice: just saying the word is enough to make many people start scratching their heads and looking for someone to do a hair check.  With kids, lice can spread quickly and be hard to eradicate.  Before you subject your child’s waist-long hair to the clippers, read this to get a better idea of how lice do and do not spread, how to treat an infestation, and how to prevent one.   Basic facts about the spread of lice: Lice do not jump: Contrary to popular belief, lice cannot jump, do not fly, and have a hard time even walking.  They slowly climb down a...

What to do when the GAPS diet fails

A decade ago Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride published her now-famous book titled Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia. A few years ago I started noticing a huge trend in parents trying the GAPS diet on their own, either after reading the book or getting advice from friends or other health or mom bloggers.  I have recommended the GAPS diet (or more commonly, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) to some families as well. But what happens when the GAPS diet fails? This blog post will address some of the most common reasons why the GAPS diet doesn’t work. So...

What is Beige Syndrome?

  Beige Syndrome Does your child suffer from the “Beige syndrome?” Toddlers are the population most affected by this common affliction.  This disorder can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, behavioral problems, and may predispose to frequent colds and ear infections. How do you know if your child has “Beige Syndrome?”  Take a look at their plate: is it all beige?  Have they eaten nothing but crackers, crustless bread, cheese, hotdogs and milk all day?  If so, then your child is affected! Sound familiar? I joke, of course, but Beige Syndrome can be a source of serious frustration for parents.  So many toddlers have multiple food...

How to treat postpartum depression naturally

Read about Dr. Erika's personal story about postpartum depression here. I'm going to talk today a little bit about how to treat postpartum depression naturally, and some things you may want to speak to your doctor about if you think you have postpartum depression or anxiety. The very first thing we should talk about is some lab work.  So when we talk about treating postpartum depression naturally I really want to know why someone has postpartum depression, and not to just treat it presumptively.  (In other words - is it really postpartum depression?)  So the first thing I want you...

The Dangers of Doctor Google

  Last week, on a beautiful walk along the river here in Missoula, I had a good talk with another Mom.  We talked about life, kids, and Dr. Google.  My new friend conveyed her thoughts on how helpful Google has been, and how she has found many more answers on the internet than in her doctors office.  I've had hit and (many) miss experiences looking things up for Annika in the early months after she was born, so we talked about that a little as well.  While we were talking I thought to myself, I should really write a blog post...