Dr Greene's Blog

Alan Greene MD

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

June 17, 2020

Allergies, Colds and COVID: How to Tell the Difference

As we begin to shift into the warmer months, common health concerns often jump from cold and flu to allergies. This is made all the more complicated by the presence of COVID-19, and the fact that we are still learning new information about this novel virus from day to day. ...
June 07, 2020

The Itchy, Bumpy Blues: How to Treat and Prevent Mosquito Bites and Related Conditions

For most children, mosquito bites result in pesky welts. But for some, the reaction is much more severe. And for others, serious diseases can result. In this article, Dr. Greene discusses ways to prevent and treat mosquito bites. ...
May 25, 2020

Chemicals and Pregnant Women: Taking Care of Your Unborn Baby

A major analysis by University of California scientists of typical pregnant women across the US found widespread evidence of toxic chemicals in their blood, often at levels that have been linked to higher risk of developmental and reproductive problems in babies in other studies. Beyond this, the pregnant women in this study were typically exposed ...
May 18, 2020

Podcast: Mom Driven, Doctor Aligned

Thanks for joining us for Mom Driven, Doctor Aligned For more, visit BambiniFurtuna.com or follow us on Social Media! @BambiniFurtuna @AgathaRelotaLuczo @DrGreene.com And don’t forget to Rate, Review, and Share* Mom Driven, Doctor Aligned. Note: Dr. Greene is a co-founder of Bambini Furtuna. *In the Apple Podcast app, in the Library Tab under Shows, click ...
May 11, 2020

Caring for Babies and Small Children During COVID-19

In addition to common fears surrounding COVID-19, caring for babies can be especially worrisome. We want to remain certain that the littlest members of the house stay the safest. In this post, Dr. Greene addresses issues and answers questions about caring for babies and small children during COVID-19. ...
May 05, 2020

Whole Foods as First Foods

It may seem overwhelming at first, but in reality baby’s first food could be as simple as a nice banana, mashed with a bit of breast milk or formula. In the U.S. for many years the go-to for baby’s first food has been an instant white rice cereal. While there is nothing wrong with rice ...
April 29, 2020

Screen Time in the Age of Quarantine

Many parents are curious to know how the rules change for screen time when children are barred from most of their regular activities. While getting fresh air and sunshine is of the utmost importance in this time, there is also cause to create flexibility around the use of electronic devices.  ...
April 28, 2020

6 Feet & A Mask: Hygiene Practice and COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, is one of the most frightening health scares of the last century. However, some of the best news to come of the ~3 million case studies we now have is that children are much less likely to get sick than adults. That being said, the best measures children and parents can take to keep everyone healthy at home is to maintain a safe distance in public and practice proper hygiene. ...
April 21, 2020

Keeping Kids Healthy in the Age of Coronavirus: Dr. Greene on The People’s Pharmacy

How are parents and grandparents keeping kids healthy during the time of COVID-19? What are they doing if their children do become ill? Dr. Alan Greene joins Joe and Terry Graedon on The People’s Pharmacy to discuss zinc, hydroxychloroquine, coenzyme Q10 and much more. ...
April 16, 2020

COVID-19 Podcast: Mom Driven, Doctor Aligned & HeyMama Join Forces

Transcript [00:00:00] Agatha: Hi! It’s Agatha Luczo. Welcome to “Mom Driven, Dr. Aligned”. Dr. Alan Greene and I were just on with the HeyMama Community doing a Q&A about COVID-19. Dr. Greene gave us such amazing advice and tips about how to deal with immunity health and how to take care of ourselves during this ...
April 13, 2020

COVID: Supplements, the Immune System, and Preventative Care

In the midst of a viral pandemic, with orders to “shelter at home” in effect, parents may be wondering what else can be done to protect the health of their families. Unprecedented circumstances often lead to feelings of a loss of control, which can sometimes generate a sense of fear, and even sadness. Minimizing unnecessary ...
April 10, 2020

Why OTHER Respiratory Viruses are More Important than Ever Before

This may change, but as of this writing, more than 90 percent of people tested in San Francisco for COVID turned out to have other respiratory infections — not COVID. That’s a huge percentage. Dr. Alan Greene explains why that’s so important and what you can do about it. ...
April 09, 2020

Wear A Mask Like a Pro

Masks are an important part of your COVID safety plan. Learn how to wear a mask like a pro from Eat Real’s Cheif Pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene. ...
April 07, 2020

Simple Mask Safety Test

We’re sheltered in place. That’s a great thing. But we still need to go out occasionally for the essentials that can’t be delivered to our door. That means we need to start wearing masks as one strategy to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Since masks are in high demand, people are getting creative and ...
March 20, 2020

Viruses Are Not Quite Alive and Not Quite Dead, and Other Things to Know About COVID-19

What they are capable of is replicating and adapting, and each virus has a unique way of doing that. Viruses are programmed to detect particular surface proteins or channels on the outside of a cell, and make their way in via the favored route. A Cellular Doorway For COVID-19, the favorite avenue to cellular entry ...
March 15, 2020

Senna: The True Ex-Lax

Constipation is one of those not-so-exciting subjects that affects both children and adults from time to time, but because it is so common, it warrants a closer look. Bowel movements tend to occur about once a day after children have reached the age where their diet is largely comprised of solid food. Starchy foods, such ...
March 07, 2020

Zeitgebers & the Circadian Rhythm: Working With Environmental Cues to Encourage Healthy Sleep Habits

Many parents spend countless nights on exploratory journeys, devising ways to convince their children that sleep is a good idea. In nature, animals fall asleep naturally and easily. Their bodies respond to the environmental cues around them, such as the shift in temperature and change in light, that signal to their bodies that it’s time ...
March 03, 2020

Coronavirus & the Panic Pandemic

The coronavirus is causing quite a scare worldwide. Reactions to the news of it spreading have ranged from relative nonchalance to absolute terror, with the media, unsurprisingly, favoring the latter.  ...
February 18, 2020

 It Just Won’t Go Away: Reasons For a Lingering Cough

We’re used to coughing when we have a cold, but what about those coughs that seem to linger even after all other symptoms have disappeared? It turns out that what may seem like a nuisance can actually be the body’s innate intelligence at work. At the first sign of foreign invaders, coughing acts as a ...
February 12, 2020

Neophobia & the Battle to Try New Foods

Perhaps you have a picky eater at home. Maybe she takes after mom or dad, or maybe this is a quality uniquely her own. Whatever the case, it’s important to recognize that we can change our perception around this. Being particular about foods is indeed a feature and not a flaw. Neophobia Timing Around the ...
January 24, 2020

Ear Infections and the Antibiotic Epidemic

Ear infections appear so common that at times they seem almost like a childhood rite of passage. Often associated with redness, swelling, and pain within the ear, they are the number one reason antibiotics are prescribed for children. However, we’re finding more and more that the prolific prescription of antibiotics is not the panacea it ...
November 14, 2019

Epsom Salts Baths: A natural and effective muscle relaxant

In nature, there are some biological processes that are almost unstoppable. Once the process is started it creates a cascade of reactions and, like a freight train barreling down the track, stopping it takes an immense amount of effort. One of the most classic of these, and perhaps the strongest in human biology, is labor. ...
November 07, 2019

Teen Vaping: “I Did Not Have Sexual Relations with That Woman”

By some reports, as many as 20 percent of high school students vape. And they often begin in middle school. Juul is the top-selling e-cigarette brand (and very cuul among kids). A single Juul pod can contain as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes. Nicotine harms the developing adolescent brain. Moreover, e-cigarette ...
August 26, 2019

Are Essential Oils Essential?

When it comes to food, the colors you see in plants provide powerful information. They often signal the rich nutrient density of the plant. When you look at a blueberry and see that color, you see delphinidin-3-galactoside. When you look at a carrot and see that color, you see beta carotene. Our eyes are adapted ...
July 09, 2019

Altitude Sickness & The Brain Stage of O2

Podcast Transcript of Altitude Sickness & The Brain Stage of O2 Dr. Greene: (00:01) Hi, this is Dr. Greene MsGreene: (00:02) and Ms. Greene and greetings from Chile. Hola!. Dr. Greene: (00:06) Hola! We are on a surprising trip and today we went to see the Atacama Cosmology Telescope high in the Andes Mountains, which ...
June 18, 2019

CTs, MRIs, Ultrasounds: Differences, Risk & Benefits

What is a CT Scan? A machine whirs in an arc around a patient, snapping a rapid-fire series of x-rays from different angles. These x-ray snapshots are combined by a computer to produce virtual cross-section images of the body. These are called CT scans, which stands for computed tomography (computer-generated cross-sectional images). CT Scans Compared ...
May 22, 2019

The Brain Stage: The Power & Promise of The Cephalic Phase for Health

Brain Stage is a new concept developed by Dr. Alan Greene who connects the dots on centuries of observations and decades of studies in this groundbreaking talk. He explains what placebo-controlled trials are really telling us and provides simple ways to improve health. ...
March 10, 2019

Itchy Eyes: Allergies are Crying Out for Attention

In many ways, the eyes are the windows of the body. When children have itchy eyes, it can disrupt their days – and nights. Itchy eyes often distract kids and decrease their ability to learn new material. If this weren’t bad enough, they can cause kids to sleep less well. For some kids, the difference ...
March 05, 2019

Fear, Measles, and Protecting our Kids

Claims that the MMR vaccine might cause inflammatory bowel disease or autism continue to haunt parents. I’m asked about the connection every week. The group that began the controversy, researchers from the Royal Free Hospital in London, have since done further research vindicating the MMR. But the fears continue. ...
February 26, 2019

Stuffy Nose and Cough Remedies for Kids

Kids are not small adults. That may seem like something so obvious that it goes without saying. Yet for decades the doses for many medicines, including over the counter cough and cold medicines were set by just starting with adult doses and reducing them according to children’s smaller size. It turns out, this often does ...
February 04, 2019

Where there’s Fire, there’s Smoke: Poor air quality and asthma treatment

When the wildfires hit Northern California, I knew it would be only a matter of time before the smoke drifted into the Bay Area and the air quality worsened. Predictably, children with asthma would be showing up in emergency rooms and urgent care centers to get breathing treatments for their increased wheezing. And three weeks ...
January 14, 2019

Garlic Oil for Ear Infection Pain

Ear infections can hurt! Topical drops can ease the pain while watching to see if antibiotics are necessary. And if antibiotics are needed, while waiting for antibiotics to take effect. A study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine evaluated prescription anesthetic ear drops versus an herbal product from Israel. Otikon Otic Solution in olive oil augmented ...
December 27, 2018

Saving Lives in Nepal with One Heart Worldwide

Maternal and infant mortality is a huge issue, world-wide. When I met Arlene Saman, the founder of One Heart Worldwide I was excited by the results they were seeing and I had ideas for ways to make the work even stronger… ...
November 12, 2018

Your Gut Bacteria Get Jet Lag Too

Many processes in our bodies are orchestrated on a ~24 hour schedule called the circadian rhythm. Body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, the immune system, melatonin and other hormones, alertness and sleepiness, and much more, rise and fall over the course of a day timed by our internal clock. When we travel between time zones ...
August 28, 2018

More than a Quarter Million Antibiotic Related ER Visits

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between the years of 2011 and 2015 nearly 350,000 children in the US were taken to the emergency department for adverse drug events caused by antibiotics – and that at least one-third of antibiotic prescriptions given to children are unnecessary. Seven of the top ten ...
August 13, 2018

Swallowed Button Batteries and Honey?!

Button battery ingestion is a big deal. So much so that The National Battery Ingestion Hotline (NBIH) was created in 1982 to study and advise best practices. They look at all types of batteries but swallowed button batteries account for 94% of batteries ingested. Until recently the agreed-upon first aid guidelines for a swallowed button ...
August 05, 2018

Oops. Decreasing iron supplements to every other day.

For years the standard way to give iron supplements was one dose a day. But when iron supplements are given to treat iron deficiency, only a small amount of the iron is actually absorbed — 2% to 28% depending on the circumstances and the study. This means if someone were to take a 25mg iron ...
July 27, 2018

Is There a Kind of Severe Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease?

Hand-foot-mouth disease can be caused by any of several related viruses, most commonly by one called coxsackievirus A-16. In 2008, an epidemic of one type of severe hand-foot-mouth disease (also known as HFMD) in China appeared in news reports around the world as the child-killing virus. More than forty people died in that outbreak; all of them ...
July 10, 2018

“Easy” is the Secret to Family Meals: Five Tools I Use

It’s no secret. I’m a fan of family meals. Eating together as a family while sitting around a table (in front of a TV doesn’t count) has been shown to reduce the odds that kids will be overweight, enhance their school performance, brighten their mood and decrease risky behavior. The reasons for these seemingly magical ...
February 09, 2018

What’s Your Toddler’s Poop Telling You?

Picture this scene: A mom walks into my office and pulls out her phone. She scrolls and turns the phone to face me. On the screen is a photo of a previously used diaper. She’s concerned because when she was changing her toddler’s diaper she realized there’d been a change in the contents. This scene ...
December 14, 2017

2018: The Near Future of Flu

The influenza virus continues to be wildly successful at growing and spreading in people around the world because it slightly changes its structure from time to time to avoid our body’s detection systems. In particular, influenza periodically changes some of the proteins in the outer envelope of the virus to mislead our immune systems. We ...
November 21, 2017

Games, They Do a Family Good

As a pediatrician, I’m regularly asked for the best developmental tools for kids. Family games are one of my favorite ways to stretch mental abilities and to enjoy time together as a family. Games that are too easy and predictable are boring. Those that are too difficult are frustrating. And just the right stretch is ...
August 14, 2017

Meeting Jane Goodall & The Chimpanzees

After one of the hardest hikes of my life, I stepped into a small clearing and turned to see a full-grown male chimp perched in a tree just above and behind me. He was close enough to attack if he’d wanted to. Thankfully, he didn’t want to… I grew up reading National Geographic magazine from ...
July 10, 2017

Men, Mosquitos, Sex & Zika

I often hear from readers with questions about pregnancy and Zika. This series of questions from a dad explores several issues important to couples when they consider sex in a post Zika world. Q: I just returned from a trip to a tropical location. There are confirmed cases of Zika in the area and there ...
July 03, 2017

Podcast: Our unexpected African adventure to meet Jane Goodall & the chimpanzees

In a wonderful and surprising turn of events, my wife Cheryl and I were given the amazing opportunity to travel to Tanzania to meet Jane Goodall, meet the wild; chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Forest, and witness first-hand the work of the Jane Goodall Institute. ...
May 02, 2017

First Kicks by Dr. Greene: Track Your Baby’s Development During Pregnancy, by Week

Sign-up here for a set of week-by-week newsletters so you can follow your baby’s development from now until the beautiful moment of birth. Expectant moms and dads are full of questions: What should I be eating? What sorts of tests should I have to make sure the baby is okay? How should we prepare for ...
April 24, 2017

It’s Time to Rethink Educational Start Times (REST)

We all know that sleep is important for our kids. So important, in fact, that a simple thing like what time school starts in the morning can affect levels of happiness, depression, illness, even suicide. It’s time for a change. The American Academy of Pediatrics just endorsed new Sleep Guidelines published last week by the ...
April 05, 2017

Collateral Damage: Pregnancy, Prematurity and Pesticides, Pregnancy

The chemical warfare between weed killers and weeds is escalating. Weed killers appeared to be winning the war at first, but in recent years weeds have developed increasing resistance to these chemicals. Pesticide manufacturers developed genetically modified crops that could withstand more potent dousing with weed killers. But again, the weeds developed increased resistance. The ...
March 27, 2017

Dr. Greene’s Guide to Allergy Care: How To Prevent And Treat This Season’s Allergies

If you’re in the Northern hemisphere of this beautiful planet, it’s the beginning of spring for you. The blossoming flowers and budding leaves are amazing to watch, but can also trigger allergies. If you or a loved one experiences allergies, here are some of my favorite recommendations on what can be done to help – ...
March 16, 2017

Allergy Care Guide: How To Prevent And Treat This Season’s Allergies

Allergies can make life miserable. Dr. Greene’s Allergy Care Guide is here with tips for preventing and treating seasonal and animal allergies. ...
March 02, 2017

Pee in the Pool: What You Should Know, What You Should Do

Scientists recently figured out a cool way to measure how much urine is in a public swimming pool. And the results are sure to turn some heads! Their sweet idea? They used the artificial sweetener acesulfame K (Ace K). The human body is unable to break down aspartame, which is why there are no calories. ...
February 20, 2017

Breastfeeding, Pumping, and Night vs. Day Milk: Your Questions Answered

Learning to breastfeed your baby can be one of the most challenging and beautiful experiences of being a new parent. Many moms choose to also learn how to pump their breastmilk for times when they can’t be there to nourish their little one, or for other reasons. Here are some new insights I’ve learned and ...
February 06, 2017

AI, Chatbots and The Future of Medicine

Back in 1996 the leaders of medicine gathered in Washington D.C. at the IOM headquarters to discuss something revolutionary and important: health information becoming available to the public on the web. I was probably the youngest person in the room. One of the doctors I revered stood and addressed the assembled crowd, telling us that ...
January 24, 2017

YUCK! — Y Unnecessary Chemicals for Kids!?

Not long ago, there weren’t many options in the supermarket for prepared kid foods without chemical colors, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives or other unnecessary additives. Today, parents have a choice. Many foods are available with only wholesome ingredients. More and more parents are choosing these foods. There are entire stores that don’t use petroleum-based chemical ...
January 09, 2017

Breast Feeding When Mom Feels Sick

Between sleep deprivation and putting the needs of others before their own, it’s pretty common for moms to get sick. It’s not uncommon for me to get questions about breast feeding when mom feels sick and I totally understand the concerns. There’s not one answer for everyone, but here are my thoughts. Should I breast ...
September 06, 2016

ADHD and Blue Light Syndrome: Changing Sleep is Key to Changing Success at Home and at School

Each year billions of dollars are spent in the US trying to improve the experience of children with ADHD and their parents. But one of the simplest and most effective ADHD interventions is often neglected. One in ten American children aged 5–17 years has been diagnosed with ADHD, with boys more than twice as likely ...
July 25, 2016

Sleep Blues: How to change your quantity and quality of sleep

We can survive longer without food than we can without sleep. About twice as long. Good food may be central to good health, but so is good sleep. And we often miss out on its amazing benefits. Improved sleep has been linked to improved health in many ways. The evidence is clear that those who ...
June 23, 2016

The Straight Scoop on Grains

Dr. Greene’s take on healthy whole grains… What popular kids’ food starts to turn to sugar in their mouth and becomes 100% glucose by the time it’s absorbed? You guessed it, processed white flour. But here’s the surprising kicker, it’s the number-one most popular food for most kids: White bread for sandwiches Hamburger buns ...
March 07, 2016

Recommended Probiotics for Kids

Promoting healthy, diverse gut bacteria appears able to make a big difference in keeping us healthy. That’s why I often recommend probiotics for the kids in my pediatric practice. This is especially true after a course of antibiotics. Many parents are confused by the wide array of probiotics available and ask for my recommendations. There ...
January 28, 2016

Solving Night Terrors Lickety-split

We’ve come upon a great solution for night terrors in my house (OK, my wife actually came up with it :) that worked with our son and thousands of others. If you’ve ever run in to this with your child, you’ve probably noticed that your kids are stuck in a state of unfamiliarity, making it ...
January 06, 2016

Googling The Internet Within

About 82% of the people who answered a recent Scanadu poll question say they search online first about their symptoms, before turning to their doctors. Even some doctors who responded said they searched first. This is a relatively recent phenomenon. When we launched DrGreene.com in 1995 people didn’t have access to medical information. Subscriptions to ...
December 08, 2015

Skin to Skin Contact with Your Premature Baby

When you find out you’re pregnant, the last thing you want to do is plan for a less than ideal birth. You want to share 40 weeks of blissful pregnancy, followed by a four hour labor and five minute delivery, then hold your newborn in your arms and bond. I hope that’s your experience. But ...
November 19, 2015

The Window of Opportunity for Teaching Your Kids Great Eating Habits

Dr. Greene’s take on great eating habits… What does mother goose have to do with getting kids to eat right? Researcher Konrad Lorentz showed that by replacing a mother goose with something else as the first thing a baby goose encountered, he could alter the behavior of the baby goose to view that thing (even ...