Q & A

You Ask – We Answer!
...your road map to health & wellness.

HAVE A QUESTION? LET US HELP!

We are here to help you with any of your health-related questions
– nothing’s too big or too small!

Our professional expert panel will do our best to provide you with
information, suggestions, and resources.

Please keep all questions reasonable short and we can not guarantee all question will be answered. Any inappropriate questions will result in removal of memberships. If your question is a time sensitive issue or if it is of a serious urgent matter, please seek medical attention immediately or contact your local doctors, naturopath, hospital, or walk-in clinic.

 

Our Q and A Manager

This column is hosted by our Q and A manager Cindy Atkinson.

   

Cindy is passionate about health. Cindy is a Certified Rolfer ®, which is a type of deep tissue manipulation that realigns the body into it's most functional shape and form. Cindy learned about the body and it's cellular structure first while obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Cell Biology at Washington State University. Cindy has been involved in the health food industry since 2003 and was head of the Vitamin Department for 2 years. She has continued her education on the body and it's systems being certified as a Sports Nutrition Adviser as well as a Digestive Care Aid. Cindy enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things healthy and finds the greatest joy in helping people make positive changes in their lives.  

OK In Health’s Professional’s Expert Panel     

Cindy Atkinson -
Certified Rolfer®  
   Dr. Tamara Browne - ND
Naturopath 
  Dr. Sarah Tremblay DC BPHE - Chiropractor   Dr. Travis Pillipow DC BSc -Chiropractor
Sara Fitzharris –
Homeopath
  Shannon Larrett-Bliss, CNP,  ROHP  Nutritionalist   Maria Carr -
DSA, CCSRI
  Linda Buhler  -
Holistic Pet Practitoner
 Chad Genereux -
Cert. Fitness Trainer
  Joanne Gagane -
Cert. Fitness Trainer
Carole Fawcett -
Psychotherapist  & Counsellor
Barb DuTot -
Herbs and Herbal Remedies
Sonya Patrick - 
Cert. Fitness Trainer
  Sheila Kamaraus,  -
Cert. Fitness Trainer
  Michele Harshenin -   Beth Hynes -
Cert. Pilates, A.C.E
Nora Donovan-Ward -
Reflexologists                  
  ... and selected
OK In Health members
   

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Question:
Does Vitamin D help me prepare for preventing the Winter Blues and the Flu?

Answer:
In northern climates vitamin D deficiency is common due to the fact that the sun’s rays are angled to such an extent that the UVB portion of these rays is filtered out. The UVB rays stimulate the biological production of active Vitamin D, D3. Although, in the summer a person produces about 20 000 IU of vitamin D in just 20 minutes, in the Canadian winter we produce virtually none, even if we do expose our skin to the sun (not likely!).

So how does this affect us?

Seemingly the effect is significant according to some recent research. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a myriad of health problems which occur more routinely in the winter than any other season or which occur more readily in Northern climates in general.

For instance, viral and bacterial infections including the Flu occur more in the winter. It has been discovered that Vitamin D turns on genes that boost production of antimicrobial peptides called cathelicidins which destroy viruses, bacteria, and other germs.

Low vitamin D levels are also associated with an increased risk of cancer, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), osteoporosis, rickets, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity. In elderly people this deficiency is linked with weakness, an increased chance of developing macular degeneration, and a 2.5 times increased risk of death.

Testing is available to determine your Vitamin D status. Recommended supplemental intake during fall and winter is 1000-2000iu per day of vitamin D3. Dietary sources of active vitamin D are scarce and include some fatty fish (herring, salmon, sardines), fish liver oils, eggs from hens that have been fed vitamin D, and fortified milk and infant formulas. Other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are not usually fortified with vitamin D.
      September 1, 2018

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Forest Fire Health Information - Your Health and Smoke from Forest Fires

* Smoke conditions and local air pollution levels can change due to the unpredictable nature of the fires. Here's some helpful information for reducing your exposure to and the effects from smoke from forest fires.
* Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity – if your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.
* Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids. If you stay indoors be aware of exposure or visit a location like a shopping mall with cooler air. Keep in mind that staying indoors may help you stay cool and provide some relief from the smoke, however many air conditioning systems do not filter the air completely or improve indoor air quality.
* You may be able to reduce your exposure to smoke by moving to cleaner air. Conditions can vary dramatically by area and elevation.
* Individuals with heart or lung conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke from forest fires. These individuals should watch for any change in symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure. If any changes are noted you may wish to contact your physician or visit a walk-in clinic.
* Residents with asthma or other chronic illness should activate their asthma or personal care plan.
* People with severe symptoms from smoke exposure should present themselves to the nearest Emergency Department.

What to do if you're in the line of fire...

Make sure:

* You have a full tank of gas
* You have enough food for at least 24 to 48 hours
* You have enough bottled drinking water for the same period
* You have any medications you require for the next week
* You have a bottle of bleach for water purification and general clean up
* You have other supplies like a flashlight, batteries, portable radio, diapers and soap
* You have a first aid kit and a charged cell phone

For more emergency preparedness info, please visit the Provincial Emergency Program web site at www.pep.bc.ca
      August 3, 2018

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QUESTION:
Hello OK In Health,
I am a newcomer to the OKanagan area and just found out about your magazine at a health food store. Have you ever had articles about alkaline diets. I am pre-diabetic and trying to follow an alkaline diet to avoid taking pills. Thanks, Dee

ANSWER:
Hello Dee,
Welcome to the Okanagan. Yes we do have some articles such as:

The Acid/Alkaline Balancing Act By Lila Elliott
The body needs acid and alkaline in a careful balance. Most people don't know that the pH of the blood and tissue is the single most important measurement of the body.... http://okinhealth.com/articles/acid-alkaline-balance

What's Blood Got to Do with It? By Lila Elliott
In a word, EVERYTHING. Blood's central role in your health makes sense when you consider just how much of it your body contains.....
http://okinhealth.com/articles/whats-blood-got-to-do-with-it

Glycemic Index By Brad King
A new meal planning tool called the Glycemic Index is talked about a lot these days. But there is also a lot of misunderstanding about the GI, which has actually been around for more than 20 years ....
http://okinhealth.com/articles/glycemic-index

Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, and Elevated Blood Glucose by Dr. Tamara Browne
Disorders of blood glucose are reaching epic proportions and account for a great number of chronic degenerative diseases. Elevated blood glucose is toxic to organs, especially the heart, kidney, and eyes.....
http://okinhealth.com/articles/diabetes-insulin-resistance-and-elevated-blood-glucose

We also have a section on our recipe page for Diabetic recipes... http://okinhealth.com/domains-okinhealth.com/recipes/index/diabetic

Yours In Health
From OK In Health eMagazine
      July 2, 2018

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Forest Fire Health Information - Your Health and Smoke from Forest Fires

* Smoke conditions and local air pollution levels can change due to the unpredictable nature of the fires. Here's some helpful information for reducing your exposure to and the effects from smoke from forest fires.
* Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity – if your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.
* Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids. If you stay indoors be aware of exposure or visit a location like a shopping mall with cooler air. Keep in mind that staying indoors may help you stay cool and provide some relief from the smoke, however many air conditioning systems do not filter the air completely or improve indoor air quality.
* You may be able to reduce your exposure to smoke by moving to cleaner air. Conditions can vary dramatically by area and elevation.
* Individuals with heart or lung conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke from forest fires. These individuals should watch for any change in symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure. If any changes are noted you may wish to contact your physician or visit a walk-in clinic.
* Residents with asthma or other chronic illness should activate their asthma or personal care plan.
* People with severe symptoms from smoke exposure should present themselves to the nearest Emergency Department.

What to do if you're in the line of fire...

Make sure:

* You have a full tank of gas
* You have enough food for at least 24 to 48 hours
* You have enough bottled drinking water for the same period
* You have any medications you require for the next week
* You have a bottle of bleach for water purification and general clean up
* You have other supplies like a flashlight, batteries, portable radio, diapers and soap
* You have a first aid kit and a charged cell phone

For more emergency preparedness info, please visit the Provincial Emergency Program web site at www.pep.bc.ca
      June 1, 2018

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Question.
Do you have any tips for dealing with the upcoming summer heat?

Answer?
Keep Your Cool!

Summer sun means hot days and hot nights – and it’s all too common to get “beat by the heat”. High temperatures can take their toll and may even lead to some people needing emergency care for the effects of heat.. While it may take a little thought and preparation to avoid heat problems, the benefits are worth it.

Each person reacts differently to the heat. Fitness levels, age, obesity, pre-existing health conditions or even being used to hot climates can influence how you respond. However, whether you are fit or frail, you can suffer health problems from the heat, and it can be life threatening.
Interior Health recommends the following steps to keep your cool this summer:

* Slow Down. Take regular breaks when engaged in any physical activity on hot days
* Avoid the heat. Limit activity to early morning and late afternoon.
* Stay cool. Use air conditioning or fans. If you don’t have access to air conditioning, you may want spend time in a local air conditioned public building or shopping centre.
* Dress appropriately with lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
* Wear a wide-brimmed hat when out in the sun.
* Protect against sunburn: seek out shade, wear a shirt, hat & sunglasses, and wear a good sunscreen or sunblock (SPF 15 or higher).
* Drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 glasses a day, or 1 cup of water for every 20 minutes in the heat). Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink. Water is best. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated and sweetened drinks.
* NEVER leave anyone (or pets) in a parked vehicle.
* If at any time you or someone you know is showing symptoms of heat stress or symptoms worsen (see below), contact your doctor, your local clinic or call the HealthLink BC.
* People with severe symptoms from heat exposure (see below) should present themselves to the nearest Emergency Department or call 911.
* If you have any questions, call the HealthLink BC, available 24 Hours (toll free8-1-1; for deaf & hearing-impaired 7-1-1).

Symptoms of Heat Exposure

1. Heat Stress: may include general weakness, tiredness, poor muscle control, and headache.
2. Heat Exhaustion: may also include nausea, pale cool and clammy skin, excessive sweating, rapid pulse and rapid shallow breathing and muscle cramps.
3. Heat Stroke: can occur very quickly and without warning. Symptoms of serious heat stroke include hot, dry, flushed skin, usually with no sweating, agitation and confusion, headache, nausea, and vomiting, rapid, shallow breathing, irregular pulse, possible seizures and loss of consciousness, and even possible shock and cardiac arrest.
4. Gradual Dehydration over a few days is also a concern, especially for the elderly or those with weak immune systems.

Be aware of those in our society who are more vulnerable to heat related illnesses:

* infants and young children
* people aged 65 and older should be particularl
      April 30, 2018

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QUESTION:
Do you have any suggestions for stress release?

ANSWER:
People often say they are "stressed" when their normal coping mechanisms have been overwhelmed. If you need to decrease stress and improve coping, consider taking at least one 5 minute, de-stress break each day, preferably more. You can try different 5 minute activities throughout the week. These include stretching, daydreaming, deep breathing, reading a few pages of a novel, doodling, listening to your favorite song, or going for a quick walk. These mini "me" times provide a quick break and allow you a chance to regain emotional and mental control in difficult situations.

Stretch Your Back is also good to do during the day. Begin on your hands and knees. Slide your hands and arms out in front of you so that your torso forms one long sloping line from your fingertips to your tailbone. Breathe smoothly; reach forward with your fingertips while you keep your hips in line with your knees. Hold for about 30 seconds. Relax and then repeat. If you have back problems, first consult the professional who treats you before performing this stretch.
      February 28, 2018

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QUESTION:
What is the best Olive Oil (Extra virgin or pure) and what is the best way to store it?

ANSWER:
Is 'extra virgin' olive oil better than regular? The terms 'virgin' and 'extra virgin' refer to the acid content of the oil. 'Extra virgin' has less acid than 'pure' or 'virgin' oil, but otherwise has no nutritional significance.
According to our registered dietitian, you can keep an open bottle of olive oil for several months. Store it away from light and heat, in a tightly sealed container. If you store olive oil in the refrigerator it will turn cloudy, but this will not affect its flavor or quality. Substituting olive oil for other fats can be a heart healthy cooking strategy!
      February 5, 2018

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QUESTION: What is Aloe Vera Used for?

ANSWER: Aloe Vera – This is one of the most healing of plants. Apply it to sunburns, burns of any other variety, scrapes, abrasions and any other skin condition that has been influenced by an outside source. Use the gel for topical (on the skin) applications and the juice for internal use (to assist with digestion and other digestive tract complaints.) Aloe Vera can also be used for our pets to provide a wide array of natural vitamins, enzymes and amino acids, which boosts your pet's immune system, relieves irritated skin and improves overall well-being. If someone receives a severe burn (as an example), and has seen aloe vera help renew healthy skin and put an end to any bacterial invasion, that is significant enough proof for many of us, to give it a try. Most of the time, Nature provides us with whatever we need, to get and/or remain healthy. For more info on Aloe Vera check this local Okanagan family run company's website. www.melissasaloe.com
      November 30, 2017

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Mold - What to do if I find mold on my cheese?

If you notice a spot of mold on a brick of hard cheese, such as cheddar, what should you do? To be on the safe side, trim off one inch of cheese under all moldy surfaces. The rest of the brick of cheese is usually okay to eat. If you see mold on a soft cheese, like cream cheese or cottage cheese, don't remove the mold - throw the soft cheese away.
      November 6, 2017

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What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a natural healing art, based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through applications of medium pressure on these reflexes, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation, and helps promote the natural function of related areas of the body. Reflexologists do not diagnose, prescribe or treat specific conditions. Reflexology has been practiced in India, Egypt and China for over 5,000 years and continues to be widely used throughout the world today as a safe, effective and beneficial therapy. Essentially, Reflexology helps to balance the physical, mental and emotional aspects of your whole body.
      October 3, 2017
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