Dr Greene's Blog

Dr. Alan Greene

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.

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

“I Did Not Have Sexual Relations with That Woman”

Recently, I sat across from an accomplished high school athlete who had just told me that he did not smoke and had not used any drugs. But when I asked directly about whether he vaped he openly said, “Of course!” He went on to explain that vaping isn’t smoking, isn’t unhealthy, and that THC is ...
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

In this episode: Dr. Greene and Ms. Greene discuss their experience at the ACT telescope located in the Atacama Desert at an elevation of 17,200 feet. Above 9,000 feet the body may be impacted by lack of oxygen. Altitude sickness is common and can range from uncomfortable to dangerous. O2 supplementation can be used to ...
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

Listen to the Podcast or Read the Transcript [00:00:03] Hi I’m Dr. Alan Greene pediatrician and I’d like to talk with you tonight about The Brain Stage. [00:00:10] I remember vividly when I was a pediatric resident in training go to a Grand Rounds about a surprising topic. [00:00:18] The function of the brain and ...
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. It was my pleasure to join the board of directors in 2015 and watch ...
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 ...