Posted on – Living with Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Over the past decade there has been a significant increase in both childhood and adult food allergies and sensitivities. Fortunately, living with these conditions has become less challenging, thanks to the availability of a greater selection of foods that meet the needs of people with dietary restrictions.

Dr. Susan Blum, an Armonk resident and a Functional Medicine practitioner in Rye Brook, has worked with an increasing number of patients complaining of symptoms resulting from eating particular foods. “The first thing we need to do is define a food allergy and a food sensitivity. A food allergy is an immune system reaction to a food that occurs shortly after eating the food. It can manifest itself in reactions such as hives, rashes, difficulty breathing, abdominal cramps and tongue swelling. On the other hand, food sensitivity is defined as an intolerance or reaction to food that does not produce this kind of response. In my practice, we see many patients with both conditions,” said Dr. Blum. Read more:

Posted on – The Juice Detox: Is It Dangerous?

With the Oscars just days away, Hollywood’s juicers and blenders are undoubtedly working overtime this week. Celebrities are known to embrace the ubiquitous “juice cleanse” with the same amount of zest and zeal used to commit to that next great role. But are strict Detox regimens really healthy for us? Award-Winning Preventive Medicine Doctor, Susan Blum, M.D has successfully been using her personalized Medical Detoxification program with her patients for years, and therefore, weighs in with a medical perspective on what’s healthy and what’s not: Read more:

Posted on – Adaptogens in Skincare: Wonder Herbs or Hyped Supplement?

Overworked, underpaid, overwhelmed, confused and lacking sufficient money, time and social entertainment. This is how most Americans feel amid a slow recovery from a damaging recession. We work more than most residents of developed nations and yet most Americans are often sick and broke. There is a need for an overhaul of our food and financial systems and yet most of us have insufficient time to churn through our never ending to-do lists, let alone conquer any other cause. So we carry on and we often get sick, because of a lack of sleep and poor nutrition. This often leads to dermatological issues, mainly, premature aging and a general ruddiness thanks to big pores and dehydrated skin. We continue to search for the quick fix, but perhaps, we are searching for the wrong solution. In the West, we often look to treat symptoms, but as many tire of the quick fix, such as antibiotics or skin peels, some suggest that dealing with internal issues may help both immune problems and external issues, such as blemishes and redness. One answer might be a burgeoning class of supplements called adaptogens.
Read more:

Posted on

Breaking News on Alcohol and Cancer

There have been a number of recent studies trying to sort out the relationship between alcohol and health. This week, The British Medical Journal reported that alcohol increases the risk of cancer, especially all cancers of the mouth and digestive tract, including the liver, colorectal and breast cancer. The authors found that any protective effect on the cardiovascular system previously reported, is outweighed by the increased risk of cancer. Unfortunately for those considering themselves social drinkers, or who drink a few glasses of wine with dinner every night, “there is no level of alcohol consumption that can be considered safe”.

So, what should you do? While the majority of the increased cancer risk was for those drinking over 1 drink/day (women) and 2 drinks/day (men), under that level the cancer risk still increases with every drink. My suggestion is to cut back on your alcohol consumption as part of your cancer prevention program ESPECIALLY if you have a family or personal history of cancer. Your genetics might make you more susceptible. Avoid drinking every day, and choose red wine for the most cardio-protective effects. If you have a personal history of cancer, you shouldn’t drink at all.

Don’t forget to add other cancer prevention strategies to your lifestyle, all of which have been found to reduce your risk. Exercise, reducing those stress hormones, and eating a vegetarian based diet filled with organic fruits and veggies, shifting toward vegetarian proteins like beans, nuts, seeds, and yes even soy. Soy can be safely included in the diet in moderation, meaning 1-3 times/week for those with concerns about it (cancer, hypothyroidism), and more often for others. Make sure the soy is not genetically modified (should say so on the package), is organic, and is minimally processed (skip the boca burger).

There is less anxiety now about soy because the first clinical study on soy intake and women with breast cancer was published last summer, and this showed that those eating soy had a reduced rate of recurrence. For some, this just adds confusion, and to help figure out what is right for you, I suggest finding someone like myself, who can guide you through making these decisions as I believe recommendations are not one size fits all.

And finally, don’t forget there is so much more you can do! We look forward to sharing our approach with you at Blum Center for Health. We have Cancer Prevention cooking classes (description on the website), Functional Medicine tools for evaluating and reducing risk, and MindBodySpirit classes or consultations for self awareness and hormone balance. We will be putting all these tools together in our first semi-annual Cancer Retreat Weekend coming soon, so mark your calendars and call or email us for more information.

Hope to see you soon,
Susan Blum

Posted on

Juice Cleanses and Medical Detoxification

April 25, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Dr. Blum will host a free discussion at Blum Center for Health on Juice Cleanses and Medical Detoxification:

What you need to know, and how to choose the right program for you.

Juice cleansing is a trend that has grown and continues to be ever more popular with the publicity it receives from celebrities who use it for weight management. There are good aspects to juice cleanses, but also potential problems. Medical Detoxification means removing toxins from the body while making sure your liver has all the nutrients it needs to do this job. Do juices have all these nutrients? Join us for a discussion on this topic, and find out the best approach to help your liver keep your body clean and to keep you feeling strong and healthy.