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Questions answered

Q. My child has recently been diagnosed with autism, where do I begin?

A. First, know that you are not alone. Start by finding a functional medicine doctor that will work with you to seek out the root cause of your child’s issues and treat autism as a whole body condition; not just mask the symptoms. Next, investigate an allergen-free diet (such as the gluten-free, casein free diet) and work with your doctor to develop a supplement protocol to meet your child’s unique nutritional needs. Most kids with autism have food intolerances and nutritional deficiencies. Addressing these early-on will help them focus better, be more present in school, and aid the benefits of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. From there, your doctor can help develop a customized treatment plan that will be most beneficial for your child.


Q. Would I go to a Dentist to have my mouth checked for Oral Cancer?

A. When it comes to identifying potential warning signs of oral cancer, dentists are often the first ones to notice any abnormalities. Oral Cancer is one of the fastest growing types of cancer, and there are two ways we can get it – smoking and alcohol and the other is HPV (Human Papillomavirus). Typically, oral cancer screenings are performed during your normal six month dental checkup, which is why you should see your dentist with regular visits each year. If your dentist does not perform an oral cancer screening automatically, Ask For It!

Dr. Zamora | Smiles of Las Colinas

Q. Will my child thrive in a camp specifically for special needs or would a more mainstream camp be preferred?

A. As a parent of a special needs child, it’s difficult to let them have sleepovers or attend camps, not knowing if the other family or camp counselors would be comfortable or capable of taking care of your child. This was the first time ever William was going to be away from home. He was excited, I was anxious. We chose a camp that offered all traditional activities such as: fishing, canoeing, zip lining with the level of care that we would expect if he were at home. I am so thankful that William had this experience. It helped him to become more independent. It helped me to trust that he is okay without me. Thank you Moran Camp Xtreme, it really does make a difference that children can feel at home and not be “different,” while in your care.

Wendy Hardeman | William’s mother

Q. Recently figured out that I was in early Perimenopause, and apparently bloating is a side-effect. Is there a plan to reduce the discomfort of this?

A. Discomforts during perimenopause, which includes bloating, can be managed through self-help approaches such as regular exercise, healthful food, and enough sleep. Avoiding foods that can induce bloating may help. Cruciferous vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower; although extremely nutritious, can cause bloating; try roasting them and eat a bit less than you would normally. Beans; black beans are less offensive, again, smaller amounts (1/3 cup). When bloated, consider eating cucumbers. They are high in silica, caffeic acid (the skin part), and vitamin C, which can reduce swelling and aid in the prevention of water retention. So, just like cucumber helps your eyes de-puff, it will help your stomach de-bloat, too.

Mary Ellen | Editor/Dietitian