Archive for October 2010

Welcome My People!

October 13, 2010

The other day a new couple came in and wanted to meet with me and chat.  They wanted to see if we would be what they were looking for in a pediatrician.  Mom was still nursing her child at 18months.  Yeah! Good for you mom!  Her child had already received shots and they now want to slow it down.  I said OK.  They mentioned a couple of other words and were waiting expectantly to see my response.  Breastfeeding. Homeopathy.  Delaying vaccines.  Raw milk.  Goats milk.  Grass fed beef.  We don’t like soy. etc.  I guess they were expecting me to roll my eyeballs and tell them to move on.  I started talking about traditional foods and western versus eastern foods. Diet and lifestyle.  They are trying to do everything right and still the child has some issues with a rash.  That is where I come in.  There are a few facts they miss.  The clinical experience of a pediatrician is something they lack.

To them, this I say, ‘Welcome, my people.”


Why Do We Need Probiotics?

October 13, 2010

The answer is that we don’t.  We shouldn’t.  A probiotic is an oral supplement that helps replenish the intestinal balance of bacteria (as opposed to an antibiotic which kills off infections elsewhere in your body as well as the good bacteria in your gut).  As a fetus, floating in the sterile environment of the amniotic sac, our gut has neither air nor bacteria.  Within minutes of a vaginal delivery, the infant aerates the gut and ingests and acquire maternal flora. 

Natural gut flora has billions and billions of different species of bacteria, very much like different species of coral on a reef.  You want variety and balance.  It does not make sense to me why we should take antiobiotics that kill off our naturally occuring flora, and then take billions of the same species in a pill form.  Alright people.  The next time to go to Whole Paycheck and shell out good money please read the label..most of the time there is only one species of Lactobacillus.  Hello!  Guess what?  You’ve been had.  Lactobacillus is so common, mostly in…yougurt.  They have done a Martha Stewart on you.  Repackaged, renamed and sold for a hoity-toity price.  “So, Dr. Hoang,” you say, “is there an even more natural way to balance your gut after antiobiotics or a stomach flu?”  Yes, of course.  There is always a cheaper, more natural, more traditional way of doing things… 

Whenever I come across Asian patients, kids, who were chronically sick most of the time, they had become “Americanized” and easily adapted to the western diet.  I would prohibit dairy, which is very western.  I would admonish parents to return  “to the foods of the your people.’  Grandparents really love me whenever I say stuff like this.  Most Asian cultures primarily drink water.  We do not consume a good portion of our daily protein and calories in a drink form.  All Asian cultures and most other cultures have some sort of pickled vegetable.  The vietnamese, we have pickled radishes, eggplant, soy sauce, fish sauce, lots of pickled and fermented shrimp paste, etc.  These foods are foul to and offends the Western nostrils, but I love them.  I think the traditionally high rates of vaginal deliveries and our fermented foods keeps vietnamese children healthy.  We should not need the rotavirus vaccine.   If you can’t find a vietnamese store, the next time you need to replenish your gut, don’t even bother with yougurt (too simple!).  Try something more complex.  I love the varieties of Korean kimchi, or pickled cabbage.


October 12, 2010

There’s gold in them thar hills!  I think I discovered it!  What? What? you say, all three of you who are following this…I am so excited.  I am so close to answer for both migraine causes and…scoliosis cure.  I don’t know for sure so I don’t think I should say too much…the next few months should bear out my thinking and I will be able to post.  Hold on to your seats…

Update on Carla of the Valgus Knee and Bunion

October 8, 2010

Wait till you see this.  Even I am amazed. I need to count up all her visits so far.  I need to remind you of how Carla’s first looked.  I am so proud of us for this great work.  I have to admit that part of the reason I am amazed is that she is just super complicated.  I don’t think I would have been able to figure her out 3 yrs ago.


Carla gave me this photo which she took before ever coming to see me.   A lot of people have googled out of curiosity what a foot looks like after bunion surgery.  Notice the left foot on the first picture.  The bunion looks great, huh? nice and straight.  The only problem is that it is stiff and Carla says that there is numbness around the toe.  Believe it or not that stiff L great toe, because of the scarring from the surgery, is 50% responsible for the knee.  Also, look at the inside of her foot.  See how tightly it is curved, that stiffness does not change with walking. 

This is today’s 10-7-10. 

Prescription Sticker Shock FYI

October 7, 2010

One of my patients  had a migraine and I called in a prescription for imitrex.  I was so shocked when he told me that Rite Aid charged him a ‘discount’ of $165 for 9 GENERIC pills!!!???!!! Back in the old days of the allergy medication of $3 a pill, I used to think that this was a handsome profit for the drug companies.  But $18.34 per pill is

way too much.  It is almost as bad as credit card interest rate of 24% or $550 per month of health insurance ($2500 deductible/$30 co-pay) for me and my 2 girls.  Inflation is already starting to happen.

I think patients should know the exorbitant mark up that is perpetrated upon them.   This is why we see Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aids pop up everywhere.  They are flush with cash to buy properties and build.  When my pharmacy supplier charges me $3 for amoxicillin, I charge my patients $10, not a huge mark up (enough for me to recoup the up front cost and loss from expired ones) I do it to help out poor patients – these pharmacies charge $30 dollars.  When the government made H1N1 vaccine and shipped it to me for free, they THREATENED us doctors not to charge anything but a $10 vaccine administration fee, the pharmacies where charging way more – up to $30.  !!!????? where is the outrage?  where is the indignation?

Fortunately for my patient, my pharmacy contact informed/gave me the low down on imitrex.  He said that he could get it for me for $30 for 9 pills and he apologized to me because this was the best rate he could give my because imitrex only recently became generic in the last 6 months.  I placed 2 orders for my patient.

Unfortunately for me, my patient had already purchase another packet.  So now I am stuck.  Any one wanna buy some cheap imitrex?

Needless to say, my patient came in for cranial osteopathic treatment and on his 3rd visit, I found the cause of his migraines.  I got so excited.  I treated him and everything seemed to resolve.  His head settled down.  His problem ‘hip’ and leg seemed lighter.  When I get to the root cause, the problem for which patients come is resolved and as a fringe benefit other seemingly unrelated issues resolve as well.  That is bang for your buck.  Done.

Doctor, Why Does My Belly Look Like I’m Still Pregnant?

October 6, 2010

Many mommies have asked me this question, yes, even well after their children are grown up to 4-5 years.  The answer is simple.  The belly looks like its still pregnant because the muscles still think that you/they are still pregnant.  Over the course of 9 months the  muscles and tendons slowly stretched out under the influence of hormones.  The muscles had a chance to relax and reset their resting length up until the moment of birth.  What happens at delivery?  All of a sudden, those abdominal muscles cave in because the 20lb mass pushing out against is suddenly evacuated.  When does the automatic reset happen?  After the first baby, the reset happens almost immediately.  However, after the second child, after the second reset, things don’t bounce back quite the same.  It is even worse after a C-section.

My teachers and colleagues always instructed that every woman after delivering a child must be treated osteopathically to undue the mechanical strains of pregnancy.  I did not believe it then.  Besides, who has the time?  I bounced back well considering that I was 38.  Well, 2 years later, I am absolutely wiped out and I was too concerned with the second one to care about myself.  I certainly did pay for it. 

Mommies, you are going to recognize these symptoms.   I started getting  headaches  in the back of my head.  I never get headaches…until now.  Combined with the lack of sleep, the babies’ cries of hunger sound even more shrill.  You become more wound up and the baby recognizes it.  This ultimately interferes with the bonding process.

These symptoms are common to all mommies who deliver vaginally.  Why?  Because the memory/strain pattern of delivery is still in the tissues.  Untreated, mommies will years later still have the pouch.  

On Sunday October 17, 2010 I will have a reduced rate OMT clinic in Pomona just for women who have delivered at least 2 babies.  Mechanical correction alone will take between 10-15minutes.  If you are interested, call the office and get on the waiting list, 626-358-2500.