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May-June 2011




  • Kid’s Corner -

    Asthma and Allergies

    Mom’s Corner -

  • Stroke Awareness and caring for your parents who have suffered a stroke

  • Dad’s Corner -

    Get Your Car Ready For Summer

  • Planet Earth -

    Water-Your Life Depends on It

  • News -                                                                                                        

    “Got Milk?” Should children and adults drink milk?


Welcome to the Doc Grubb Newsletter for May-June 2011.

    We’re finally entering spring. In the Washington, DC area, we’ve had rain and hot weather so the plants and trees around our home are budding out like crazy! Looking at the environment, it seems incredible but it’s only been a year since we experienced the BP oil spill off the coast of Florida. Also in the last two months we had the nuclear accident in Japan which will impact the environment for decades to come. The weather has been extremely unsettled and in some parts of the mid-west snow is still falling. There have been record rainfalls and tornados raging in the southern USA destroying households and businesses.

    I feel we have covered a lot of important topics in this newsletter to include helping children learn about asthma; caring for family members who have suffered strokes and water. A topic I haven’t covered before and that is a vital component of the health of adults and children, and increasing weight problems, in America is drinking milk and eating dairy products. Part of my weight problem is secondary to the milk I drank as a child, so this is an especially important topic to me.

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Asthma and Allergies

    If you have asthma, you’re in good company. Many famous people in sports, music, literature, entertainment and politics have asthma attacks, but have still become GREAT in their fields. A few names you might recognize are Emmitt Smith in football,  Jim Davis, the cartoonist who created Garfield, Coolio the singer, Charles Dickens, the famous author, and in politics, Jesse Jackson and John F. Kennedy. Your asthma can be treated and controlled and who knows, you might become famous too! Or maybe semi-famous like me.

    Many people with asthma find that their asthma gets worse at certain times of the year. Asthma can be worse during warm weather months -- spring, summer if you are allergic to airborne allergens like pollen. Many kids find that catching colds or the flu in winter makes their asthma worse. 

Here’s what you need to know about asthma:


  • Asthma affects your lungs and can cause you to cough, make your chest feel tight, make you short of breath and wheeze when you breath. A really bad attack can make you feel like you can’t breathe at all!
  • If you have asthma you are probably sensitive to substances, called “triggers” which can cause you to have an asthma attack.  A trigger for asthma can be dust, cigarette smoke, pets, pollen or mold. Exercise, cold weather and even strong emotions like getting angry can cause an asthma attack. If you know your triggers you may be able to avoid them and have fewer problems with asthma.
  • You need to take your medicine to prevent asthma attacks. It is easier and less scary to control asthma before you start to feel short of breath and start wheezing and coughing.
  • The medicine in your inhaler allows you to breathe if you are wheezing or have chest tightness by opening up your lungs. If you’re sensitive to a lot of triggers, keep your inhaler close by you at all times. Your parents will tell your school nurse about your inhaler so you can have it with you in school and on field trips.
  • People all over the world have asthma and live normal, active lives.


    We’ve already talked about many triggers that can cause you to have an asthma attack. One of the worse triggers is cigarette smoke. I know you want to be cool like your friends or the cool dudes in the movies, but an asthma attack is very scary when you have one and can’t breathe.


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Caring for Parents Who Have Had a Stroke

     My father had several small strokes before he had a massive stroke at home that killed him. When he had his last stroke my mother sat and held his hand until he died, at home in his bed. Strokes happen when blood flow to your brain stops and, without blood, brain cells begin to die from lack of oxygen and nutrients. The death of the brain cells can leave you with paralysis and problems in thinking and speaking. Children and young adults have strokes usually from a genetic problem with a blood vessel in the brain, heart problems or an accident that injures the brain.

There are several symptoms of stroke that it is very important for you to be aware of, especially if you are around older family members.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

    If you have any of these symptoms, or see someone with these symptoms, get to a hospital quickly to begin treatment. Drug therapy with blood thinners and acute stroke therapies can minimize the damage caused by the stroke. Physical and speech therapy can help individuals recover from weakness, speech or cognitive problems from the stroke.

To care for a family member who’s suffered a stroke:

  • Don't let them lie in bed all day. Lying in bed causes loss of muscle mass and strength and can set them up for another stroke because of changes in the way their blood clots.
  • Take them out in the fresh air often. If they can't walk, or can't walk far, take them for wheelchair rides.
  • Proper nutrition and healthy meals are vital. Simple meals that contain vegetables and fiber are very important. You may need to puree, mash or cut-up the food in the beginning as they are regaining strength and if they have paralysis from the stroke.
  • Keep them involved in daily activities. Talk normally not like they are a child.
  • Exercise is vital. You can get occupational therapy and physical therapy for at least a few weeks through community services. Learn techniques from the therapist that you can do with your parent.
  • Know what medicine they are receiving and WHAT the medications are for and how they work.
  • Keep a peaceful, healing environment with soft music. No depressing news. No horror flicks.


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Get Your Car Ready for Summer

I just handed my paycheck to the gas station and told them to cash it and just use it for my gas bills when I fill up. No, I didn’t really do that, but the price of gas is killing me. Summer is the busiest time of year for people to drive in their cars for vacation, and even with the high price of gasoline I’m sure many of us will still hop in the car for a road trip. It seems that every winter you see all kinds of articles and guides for winterizing your car, but how often do you read about preparing your car for the heat of summer.

While you can't do much about the price of gas, taking care of your car will save you money in the long run. During the summer, there’s always an increase in cars breaking down on the road. Did you know that the most common problem is battery failure, especially in the how southwest of the United States? If it's not a battery, chances are that the problem is something that could have been prevented if you had taken the time to look at your car before the trip or the hottest part of summer.

Charge the air conditioner. One of the worst parts about driving in summer is that your car gets pretty warm. Sometimes all it takes to get a really cool air conditioner is to charge it with Freon. I’ve sat in cars without air conditioning many times, and it’s no fun.

Check your tire pressure. Changes in temperature will change the air in your tires. If your tires are not inflated properly, it can lead to improper wear and reduced gas mileage. Make sure to check tire pressure when tires are cold, and inflate them to what's recommended for the vehicle by the manufacturer. When checking how much tread is left on a tire, use a quarter. Put George Washington in head-first, and if you can see anything above his head, it might be time for new tires. Check the condition of all your tires, including the spare.

Cooling System. Flush and replenish the cooling system (radiator) as stated in the service manual's recommendations. The level, state and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. Make sure the engine has cooled down before removing the radiator cap. Engine overheating is the most frequent summer breakdown. Make sure that your windshield washing fluid is full, and that your wipers are in good condition. It rains more in summer in the USA, and driving with wipers that do not do a good job can be dangerous.

Be sure you have a gas cap on your car. Gas caps can keep millions of gallons of gas from evaporating each year.

Keep Emergency Items in the Car: keep a bottle of water and a snack in the car at all times. If you don’t have a cell phone, get a CB radio especially if you’re driving through the desert.

Have a safe and happy road trip!

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                                                 Water-Your Life Depends on It

Every living thing needs water to survive. Without water everything, plants, animals, microbes, will perish. As long as there is life on this planet, water will be here. Without it, life as we know it is impossible. Thus it is important for us to know how precious water is. We ought not to waste it or pollute it by any means. Water is just too precious.  Our bodies are composed of about 75% water. Water allows our blood to flow through the blood vessels thus supplying the body with vital nutrients and helps waste matter to be eliminated from the body via the excretory system. Water is used for drinking, washing, cleaning and just about any activity we care to do.

Water covers about two thirds of the total surface of the earth. The vast expanse of seas and oceans has long been our major sources of food and means of travel. The first civilizations of man started near rivers. The Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates were where man began to establish themselves on the earth. In all parts of the world, the major rivers played a major part in the evolution of man. The rivers, seas and oceans provide man with an important means of travel. In ancient times, man explored the earth via the sea. Much of what we are today are influenced by the travelers who came over the seas in their ships long ago. Today the waterways of the world are still of major importance to mankind. Huge oil tankers, container ships and others ply these routes.

Water is our lifeline that bathes us and feeds us. In ancient cultures water represented the very essence of life. The Romans were the first to pipe water into their growing cities, especially with their aqueducts. They also realized that sewage water could cause damage to their people, and needed to be removed from large areas of people.

The movement of the oceans also has a direct effect on the atmosphere. The atmosphere is that envelope of gas that keeps organisms living on this planet. Oceans and atmosphere interact to give us weather. I’ve put a copy of “The Water Cycle” from the USGS, which you probably learned in school. As you can see, water is never used up, it just changes form.  Unfortunately, we are making water unusable by our daily practices.

              The Water Cycle:  color graphic showing the movement of water through the water cycle, from evaporation and transpiration to condensation, to water storage in the atmophere, to precipitation, to water storage in ice and snow, surface runoff, snowmelt runoff to streams, streamflow, and freshwater storage.  A cut away shows the ground water portion of the water cycle, from infiltration to ground water storage and ground water discharge into springs and freshwater storage.  Surface runoff, freshwater storage, ground water storage, and ground water discharge are all shown contributing to water storage in oceans, where the evaporation portion of the water cycle starts again.

Drinking contaminated water can cause certain diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, botulism, polio, dysentery, giardia, and hepatitis A. In cities, sewage is sometimes discharged into rivers, where children downstream might be taking a bath or using the water to drink. The simplest treatment for contaminated water is boiling the water for at least one minute and allowing it to cool. But this is not always effective in heavily chemical polluted water supplies.

The only organism that doesn’t understand the importance of water is humans, especially in industrialized countries. The oceans have taken a huge beating from the BP oil spill last year. The real estate, fishing and tourist industries were almost destroyed by the spill. Even now with the floods in the south inundating Memphis, TN and possibly New Orleans, are possibly secondary to human’s attempting to control the flow of water in rivers.

Water is a resource that should not be taken for granted. It needs to be conserved, just as we save other valuable resources. I’m still amazed when I turn on the faucet and water comes out.

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“Got Milk?” Should Children and Adults Drink Milk?


                 We are a nation of milk drinkers. Nearly all of us from the time we are infants put milk on our cereal or oat mill, drink milk at school and put it in our coffee. We drink gallons of milk a year and add to that many pounds of cheese, butter, and yogurt.                  Humans are the only species that drinks milk from other animals. Human milk is made for human consumption for a specific period of time. It has the appropriate nutrients dedicated to building and maintaining our bodies. After 22-24 months, humans no longer need their mother’s milk. Humans drink milk from an adult animal that do not drink their own milk after they reach 7 months of age.    Most of the human beings that live on planet Earth today do not drink or use cow's milk. Further, most of them can't drink milk because it makes them ill. Only humans--and then only a minority, principally Caucasians--continue to drink milk beyond babyhood. 

              Most school lunches include milk (or juices high in sugar) and nearly every hospital meal has milk on its tray. Nutritionists have told us for years that we need to drink and eat dairy products because they are high in calcium so that your bones don’t become brittle. They also tell us that dairy products are an “essential food group.”  But, when you ask OTHER nutritionist what single change in the American diet would produce the greatest health benefit, they repeatedly say “eliminate dairy products!”

The biggest problem with cow’s milk is that the protein in cow’s milk damages the human immune system. Protein from milk is absorbed into the blood intact which provokes an immune response from your body and may eventually lead to diseases.  Some of the disease associated with milk include: Crohn's Disease, asthma, early sexual maturation, diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer, Leukemia, prostate Cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, sinusitis, autoimmune Disease, childhood anemia, diarrhea and constipation. Children are especially sensitive to intestinal colic, irritation and bleeding which leads to anemia and allergic reactions. In adults the problems include heart disease and arthritis, allergy, sinusitis, and leukemia, lymphoma and cancer.

                 Your mother provides milk for a short period of time immediately after your birth. When the time comes for 'weaning' off mother’s milk, you are introduced to semi-solid then solid foods. The milk of every species of mammal is unique and specifically tailored to what that animal needs for normal growth. A cow’s milk contains 3-4 times as much protein as human milk. Cow’s milk also has five to seven times the mineral content as human milk but is markedly deficient in essential fatty acids which a human needs to develop our complex neurological system.               

    Countries consume high quantities of dairy product also have a high rate of insulin dependent diabetes possibly because antibodies produced against the milk protein during the first year of life also attack and destroy the pancreas in a so-called auto-immune reaction WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DRINKING MILK?               

   Milk is a source of calcium and it's a source of amino acids (proteins). We need calcium to build strong bones and protect us against osteoporosis. Milk contains a lot of calcium but in fact, excessive amounts of dairy products actually interfere with calcium absorption. So it’s better to get your calcium the same place the cow gets the calcium, from green leafy vegetables, which are also rich in other essential vitamins and minerals. Just like if you ingest too much calcium there are medical problems if you ingest more protein than we need because of the quantity of meat we eat. It is a burden for our bodies, especially the kidneys, and a prominent cause of osteoporosis. The average intake of protein in many countries is far in excess of the recommended requirements. The bottom line is that nearly all Americans eat too much protein and drinking milk just makes the amount of protein in your body higher. LACTOSE INTOLERANCE                  Lactose is the principal carbohydrate of milk. Nature provides newborn babies with the enzymes needed to metabolize lactose, but the enzymes usually disappears by the time we are 4 or 5 years old. People who lack these enzymes become intolerant which causes stomach upset, diarrhea, gas and abdominal cramps. Certain racial groups, such as African Americans are up to 90% lactose intolerant as adults. Caucasians are 20 to 40% lactose intolerant. Almost 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant.           

       Millions of Americans are lactose intolerant. Concerning the dry cereal issue, I would suggest soy milk, rice milk or almond milk as a healthy substitute. Most of the people on this planet live very healthfully without cows' milk. You can too. It will be difficult to change; we've been conditioned since childhood to think of milk as "nature's most perfect food." If you or anyone in your family is experiencing health problems of almost any kind and dairy is part of your diet, completely eliminate the dairy for at least a month and observe the results. You would be surprise at the outcome.    

               Maybe the cow is laughing at us for a reason.

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