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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

Preventing caries (cavities) in fluoride-free families

In previous blog posts I have talked about fluoride supplementation.  This week I would like to talk about ways to prevent cavities in families who decide to decline fluoride supplementation. So first I want to say that there really is no excuse for having poor oral hygiene habits  - especially if you decide to go fluoride-free.  I hate to say it, but I have seen several families who have decided against fluoride but then neglected brushing and flossing and ended up with a child with a mouthful of cavities.  Please don't go there. Remember that sometimes the "natural" route is also the...

Postpartum depression or postpartum thyroiditis?

My own experience with postpartum depression started 6 weeks after the birth of my first child, Annika.  I remember clearly that it was a Friday, Annika was “colicky” (or so they said) and had one of her fits of crying that lasted about 45 minutes.  Me, I cried for three hours straight. Before having Annika I knew I was passionate about treating children with naturopathic medicine, but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized the need for treating moms as well. Treatment of postpartum women is a huge part of my practice here in Missoula.  It is sadly underreported,...

Just say “NO” to Tylenol (Acetaminophen linked to autism?)

Update from Dr. Erika:  I want parents to understand that this article is not meant to place blame, or to make parents feel guilty in any way for giving their children Tylenol.  I also want parents to understand that development of autistic spectrum disorder is a multifactorial process.  There is no "one" trigger for autism.  Rather, it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of autism.  Tylenol is only one of these factors.  If your child has autism and this article is going to be a trigger for you please feel free to stop reading, close out...

Quit it! (Smoking, Carbs and Mom-Guilt)

{This is a re-post Dr. Erika originally wrote for Mothers Organic Health.  Check 'em out!} We’ve all got ‘em: things that we know aren’t good for us, but we do anyways. The Frappuccino addiction, potato chip binges, sushi in excess (that’s a lot of mercury!), the chocolate bar dependency, energy drinks, or the extra cocktail we know we shouldn’t have. Smoking, obviously, is a huge one, and is especially challenging to quit because of the physiologic addiction. But did you know that carbohydrates can be just as problematic? I’ve seen many patients go through “withdrawal” like symptoms after taking away their...

Dr. Erika’s Anti-Monster Spray

Bedroom monsters can be a serious medical condition contributing to fear, insomnia, irritability and fatigue.  Bedroom monsters frequently occur in closets, dark corners, under beds and cribs, or behind lamps and dressers. How do you know if your child suffers from bedroom monsters? The symptoms typically present as reluctance to go to bed, frequent night-time wakings, and the child verbalizing the presence of monsters.  If left untreated bedroom monsters can pose a serious threat to quality of life for children and their parents alike. This is why I have developed Dr. Erika's Anti-Monster Spray.  Clinically proven (n=1) to remove dangerous monsters if...

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3 steps to solving your child’s ADHD

Update: Dr. Erika now has an ebook outlining her 3-step approach to ADHD.  Check it out here! Last Saturday, June 1st, I gave a talk at Meadowsweet Herbs here in Missoula about ADHD and the steps I take to heal it naturally. I am happy to share a shortened version of the talk with you if you happened to miss it! I have found this 3-step approach to ADHD to be very effective. I always tell my patients that my long-term goal is to permanently restore health. When we use this 3-step approach we systematically rule out other conditions that may either...

Dr. K’s favorite herbs for kids!

Good news for you who are in the Missoula, Montana area!  Together with Meadowsweet Herbs and Walking Stick Toys we are having a wonderful Kids event starting next Wednesday May 29th through Saturday June 1st.  Meadowsweet Herbs and Walking Stick Toys will be having sales on kids products, in addition to lots of fun events. On Saturday, June 1st at 11:30 a.m. I will be having a talk entitled "Natural Remedies for ADHD." Does your child have a diagnosis of ADHD? I will discuss some factors that commonly trigger ADHD-like symptoms, as well as talk about how ADHD is commonly...

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Skip the Centrum! (A guide to a good multivitamin)

I’m not a “supplements” doctor. I know many naturopathic patients who have had the experience of coming home from a visit with a bagful of pills and potions.  I really try not to do that. My long-term goal as a physician is always to treat the underlying cause so we can permanently restore health.  When that happens my patients no longer need to be on a supplement regime, they can use diet and lifestyle to maintain their health. (With maybe an occasional multivitamin and probiotic - because if you have a refrigerator, you probably need a probiotic.)  That said, getting people back...

Vaccines Demystified webinar available for sale.

You asked for unbiased information regarding vaccines.  Well, you got it! This recorded lecture includes all the latest research regarding vaccines, vaccine adverse events and immunology.  Written and recorded by Dr. Erika Krumbeck, naturopathic physician (and worried Mom) who specializes in pediatrics and vaccine safety. Also included is an e-book workbook filled with the data included in the lecture and a blank vaccine worksheet. This is not a “pro-vaccine” or an “anti-vaccine” webinar.  This lecture presents all the facts regarding vaccines in a non-biased, non-judgmental atmosphere.  This course also sifts out the facts regarding the link between vaccines and autism.  You will...

Let them eat dirt (The Hygiene Hypothesis)

  Have you guys heard of something called the "Hygiene Hypothesis?" The Hygiene Hypothesis states that much of the chronic disease in the First World is due to lack of exposure to dirt and "healthy" microbes.  In our Lysol-friendly American households we come into contact with way less germs than developing nations (or really any other nation for that matter). What's the consequence?  HUGE healthcare costs for our whole country because of the higher incidence of chronic disease. So two weeks ago we talked about the difference between the Th1 and Th2-mediated immune systems.  If you haven't read that post you should read it...

Be happy with the child you have

I did a bad thing. I Googled. Annika is due for her 12 month appointment in a few days and she's been speaking a couple of words (and rapidly picking up more it seems). I know that's pretty normal, but I wanted to find out how many words other kids are speaking at that age and whether or not she was "advanced" for her age. Bad Mom. First of all because I should not be comparing. Secondly because "advanced" or "gifted" children aren't "better" than any other kid. Thirdly because anytime I Google anything about parenting I always end up feeling guilty. And...

Allergies, asthma and eczema: The Th1/Th2 story

  It's spring here in Missoula and you know what that means: hay fever season is just around the corner. If you're a hay fever sufferer and you feel like the only way to cope is to dress yourself in a hazmat suit then you probably want to read on.  Ditto if you have asthma, eczema or food allergies (the anaphylactic kind). Allergies, asthma and eczema are all interrelated.  In fact, many patients who have one of these symptoms actually have all three. This blog post will explain why these issues are primarily an immune-system balancing problem.  Skip the first part if...

Play Smart! (How to increase your child’s intelligence with imaginative play)

This last Saturday I had the wonderful pleasure of teaching a short class on imaginative play at Walking Stick Toys here in Missoula.  Walking Stick Toys is an awesome toy store dedicated to selling all natural wood, wool, silk and cotton toys - toys that are healthy and stimulate the imagination!  I love it! For those of you who missed the class, or want a refresher, here are my notes: Intro: Why play?  Play is a fantastic way to learn. Play engages the brain in a way that no other activity can. It uses language, spatial reasoning, planning, cooperation, strategy and social understanding. ...

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free Paleo Almond Pecan cookies

It's gray and a bit lazy here in Missoula. I love the snow, and I love winter (it is my favorite season). "Real" winter is one of the reasons we moved here. But the "real" winter has faded away in the last few days, with drizzle replacing snow, and mud replacing the white-covered grass up here at the house. So we've been feeling house-bound, Annika and I. Or at least I have. We can't tell if she's teething or going through a growth spurt, but she alternates refusing to eat and nurse to gobbling up anything we give her. Today we've...

What I wish someone had told me about Postpartum Depression

It was six weeks after Annika was born, on a Friday, that it hit me.  Annika was having another one of her “colic” fits of uncontrollable crying.  (The crying that is completely unsoothable, regardless of how many of Dr. Karp’s “S’s” I try.)  Annika’s uncontrollable crying lasted about 45 minutes.  My uncontrollable crying lasted 3 hours. It sounds stupid to say that I didn’t know I had postpartum depression, but I didn’t.  I thought, it’s just sleep deprivation from never getting more than 2 hours at a time all night long.  It’s social isolation, from never going anywhere since Annika would...

Your symptoms are just symptoms of a bigger problem

Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a natural weight-loss class at Meadowsweet Herbs here in Missoula.  I had a blast!  Maybe it's because I love doing what I do, and I LOVE talking about natural medicine. But I think I surprised some folks. One of the first things I told the class was that I believe that their weight loss has nothing to do with losing weight.  Instead, their weight loss (or rather, their inability to lose weight) is just a symptom of a larger problem.  The same can hold true for a variety of conditions - from headaches to...

Iron-rich foods for kids and infants

Between 9 and 15 months of age most children are screened for iron-deficiency with a toe or finger prick test. Why are they torturing your little one? Well, I promise it's for a good reason. What is iron deficiency? Iron is an essential mineral necessary for carrying oxygen in the blood.  Deficiency of iron can lead to anemia, a condition where the amount of blood cells is decreased.  Children and adults with anemia can feel fatigued or have a harder time playing or exercising. Anemia can cause significant developmental delays because less oxygen is getting to the growing brain.  It can lead to...

Bed wetting and soiling – a natural approach

Enuresis and encopresis.  Those are the medical terms for bed wetting and soiling.  (Sounds a lot nicer in medical jargon, doesn't it?) These are extremely common problems.  And they are extremely frustrating for parents, who often don't understand how or why their child is bed wetting or soiling. Why are they?  Well, that takes some detective work...

There’s no magic bullet in a pill

When I was 22 I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  This was after months of medication trials and diagnostic tests.  (Parasite test - check. Endoscopy - check. Gastric emptying study - check.  Ultrasound - check.) Oh the disgusting barium I had to swallow, the poop I had to collect in little vials, the fasting and tubes stuck down my throat.  All for a diagnosis of IBS (translated: "we don't know what's wrong with you, so we're giving you the label Irritable Bowel Syndrome"). Then I found an advertisement in the local newspaper for a new medication that was in the...

Don't suppress that fever! (And why I don't like Tylenol) Tylenol has been linked to ADHD and Autism.

Don’t suppress that fever! (and why I don’t like Tylenol)

Annika, my 9 month old, got her first fever over Christmas. It went up to 105.8° F (on a temporal artery thermometer). I can just hear the other parents now: "Yikes! 105.8? You gave her Tylenol, right?" Nope. No Tylenol, no ibuprofen, nothing but extra cuddles and lots of nursing. Her fever broke on its own a few hours later, and the next morning she was crawling around fast as her little knees could take her. Fevers are not dangerous.  The infection may be! It's not unusual for children to have very high fevers. In fact, it is generally very helpful for kids to get robust...