January 2021 Newsletter
Happenings at Bambini
Pandemics are not for the faint of heart, but we have made it to the end of January -- almost halfway through winter! And many coronavirus stats are tracking downward😅

As many of you know, it was difficult to get through to us starting in about November, when the demand for COVID-19 testing exploded. It overwhelmed our staff and our phone system. Thankfully, we were able to hire additional support staff and upgrade our phone system. We really appreciate your patience during that stretch!

This is, by far, the strangest "flu season" in our experience. Not a single case of RSV, very little strep, and almost no flu A or B -- quite a contrast to last January. That said, we still are testing up to 100 patients / day (including adults) with 10-15% positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, no Bambini child has been admitted with COVID-19 or has developed MIS-C.

Our staff has fared well too. Is this because most, if not all, have been taking supplemental vitamin D? Using Xlear? Quercetin? Vitamin C, elderberry, probiotics, medicinal mushrooms....???

Earlier in the month, we received a shipment of rapid antibody tests. The first ones to get their finger poked were our staff members that had gone up the hill to MHRH for a COVID vaccine earlier in the month. Sure enough, even after just the first dose, they were testing positive.

Finally, we wanted to let you know that Sarah Sercombe DNP briefly left town, but has returned with her new husband. Congrats Dr. / Mrs. Sarah Glasser!
Cheap Fix for SIBO / IBS
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is often the cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While there are other potential causes for IBS, it's estimated that as much as 84% of those with IBS also have SIBO. 
SIBO is considered very difficult to treat. Probiotics often make it worse! Strong antibiotics like Xifaxan (which runs about $3,000 for a two-week course of Rx) often helps but relapse rate is high. 
Two weeks ago, researchers from Sweden reported the efficacy of a zero carbohydrate (carnivore) diet in six subjects with SIBO. How did they do?? Basically, 100% response!
Results: five patients that followed the carnivore diet for four weeks or longer tested negative for SIBO, and the one patient that only endured the diet for two weeks had a near complete eradication of her hydrogen elevation. Methane values were generally low both before and after the dietary treatment, but there was a significant decrease in patients 3 and 5.
The authors concluded that a no-carbohydrate, zero-fiber carnivore diet shows great potential for being a readily available, cost-effective treatment for SIBO. It also results in better satisfaction after meals, decreases cravings for sweets and generates weight-loss in patients where it was needed. 
Cutting & NAC
While the pandemic has lead to a dramatic decline in bronchitis, stomach bugs, etc., there has been some increase in patients coming in with anxiety, depression, and family tension.

Not unexpected. With kids cooped up in the house all day, listening to grim news reports; no vacations, no parties. Or with parents working from home, some actually out of work. A form of tension release that we have seen more of in teens, even before the pandemic, is cutting.

Three years ago, researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota studied the effect of n-acetylcysteine (NAC) on non-suicidal self injury (NSSI) in 35 adolescent girls. NAC is an amino acid known to boost glutathione levels -- and thus improve the liver's ability to detoxify. If someone goes to the emergency room with a Tylenol overdose, they are typically given NAC.

Interestingly, girls treated with NAC responded nicely -- with a drop in NSSI (cutting behavior) as well as depression scores. NAC is an affordable OTC supplement readily available online or at health-food stores in various forms. It also seems to be good for preventing COVID-19!
Ever Encountered Doc Like This?
Some physicians can be a little hard-headed. About a month ago, 80 year-old Judith Smentkiewicz was admitted to the ICU in Buffalo with severe COVID-19. Her resourceful family convinced her intensivist to start her on invermectin.

48-hours later, she was weaned off the ventilator and transferred out of the ICU! However, on the general medical floor, the attending was a sour puss and refused to put her back on the ivermectin.
Her family had to go to court to convince this doctor to restart the drug. In the interim, her condition faded. Once restarted, however, she perked back up. Good grief!