Tag Archives: Book review

Dr. M’s Women and Children First Podcast #35 Sheila Kilbane, MD – Healthy Kids

This weeks guest is my good friend Dr. Sheila Kilbane. She is a fellow pediatrician and onion peeler of root causes of children’s diseases. Her background found her studying Zoology at Miami University before attending The Ohio State University College of Medicine. After completing her Pediatric training she went on to obtain a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. We share many desires to help families achieve immune and health solvency through upstream target manipulation that leads to happiness. Today we discuss Dr. Kilbane’s view of this world as well as her book, Healthy Kids, Happy Moms.


Dr. M

Healthy Kids, Happy Moms by Sheila Kilbane M.D., (Book Review Pedcast)


Welcome to another installment of DocSmo.com, also known as Women and Children First podcast. I’ve taken a hiatus from weekly posts for the past year but I haven’t stopped exploring pediatrics and parenting. Today, I’m going to review a new book by Dr. Sheila Kilbane called “Healthy Kids, Happy Moms”. Those of you who are long time DocSmo.com followers will recognize Dr. Kilbane’s name as she has been a frequent guest on my podcast in the past. Her interviews have been very popular. Now, she has stepped up to being a published author/educator. If after reading my comments you are interested in getting a copy of her book, buy it with the link provided in this post and help support DocSmo.com. You will get Amazon’s best price and a they will throw a few cents to support my blog.

Purpose of Book
Dr. Kilbane has told me numerous times in the past that she is trying to change American pediatric healthcare. After reading Healthy Kids, Happy Moms, I now understand what she meant; a new paradigm to providing health guidance for children with common chronic medical problems. Dr. Kilbane seems to be getting in on the ground level of change by adopting a wider view of disease in children. A quick Amazon book search only revealed two other books with an “Integrative” approach to pediatric medicine. Readers with children suffering from various chronic diseases will benefit most from her writing, introducing the basic concepts of integrative medicine to readers and providing parents with a roadmap to recovery. The topics most discussed are ones all too familiar to parents of young children; chronic constipation, eczema, asthma, food allergies, and recurring ear infections. As she points out, the percentage of children suffering from one of these disorders has been steadily increasing. HKHM says it’s time to try a new approach and presents a clear roadmap to doing so.

Characteristics of Book
Dr. Kilbane has done her homework not only in the research she presents in her book, but also in its presentation. I found the graphics easily understandable and pleasing to the eye. By using the same color scheme throughout the book, the reader is gently introduced to a lot of material in a cohesive way. As I read HKHM, I never felt overwhelmed. Dr. Kilbane’s storytelling ability and her revelations about her own health struggles during childhood, add a pleasing intimacy to her book. The strongest adjectives I can use to describe HKHMs are informative, practical, and well presented.

Providers of healthcare are in the business of offering advice and treatments that is intended to help mitigate or prevent disease. This is our core mission. Pediatricians, whether integrative like Dr. Kilbane or traditionally trained like myself, come at children’s health problems with a set of beliefs and assumptions that evolve and change over time. Take for instance the recent revelation that the treating of young children’s ear infections with antibiotics may have long term negative consequence for the health. Similarly, could today’s anti-inflammatory diet become tomorrow’s nutrient deficient one? I don’t know. While I believe that integrative medicine has moved healthcare advice in the right direction and that much of what they advocate has proven correct, ten years from now we may look back at some of today’s recommendations and see that such advice was shortsighted or not appropriate for all children.

HKHM presents a number of emerging theories as if they are facts, specifically inflammation underpinning all chronic disease, process foods causing leaky gut, and processed food being the proximate cause of damaging inflammation in a child’s body. While these theories may hold up to the test of time, there is a chance that they may not. I feel like this is important for parents to keep in mind as they make decisions about their children’s diet.

And finally, like so much of healthcare, I think its practitioners often over promise results of their advice and under estimate the expense and time commitment required for families to adopt a new lifestyle. Additionally, the natural history of many of the chronic conditions Dr. Kilbane focuses on is improvement and disappearance with time, making it all the more difficult to determine whether it’s the integrative approach is actually working or simply the tincture of time.

HKHM is a well written, engaging book for parents who are looking for an integrative health approach (primarily dietary) to their children’s well-being. For those parents looking for an alternative approach to many of pediatrics most common chronic health problems, this is a valuable and practical resource. I hope it is well read by today’s parents. The science and recommendations are presented in a clear and understandable fashion. In summary, parents who have children with many chronic common health problems and who are willing to embark on a course of elimination diets and supplements, will derive great benefit from this book. I give it 5/5 Doc Smo stars.

Dr. Paul Smolen “Docsmo”

Link to Book: Healthy Kids, Happy Moms


Dr. M’s SPA Newsletter Audiocast Volume 12 Issue 34

Issue 34

This week we look at The Truth About Lying, Acid Suppressors and Asthma Risk, Testicular Concerns and Obesity.
Adults lie? Shocker.
According to the research, most adults lie 1-2 times per day, but most lies are not damaging and often related to self inflation for ego or to spare another’s feelings. That is great news. Most people are honest most of the time! Ok. Now that we understand that most people are good what are the realities of the others? What do our kids see in us? Over the coming months I am going to dissect Dr. Talwar’s book for you in sections as I see them. You can get a big head start on all of this information by listening to the podcast #25 with Dr. Talwar herself.
Have a great day,
Dr. M

Baby Led Weaning, by Rapley and Murkett (Book Review Pedcast)

Baby Led Weaning

by Rapley and Murkett

Vermilion Publishers-2008

Help support DocSmo.com by buying this reviewed book using this affiliate link. You get Amazon’s best price and DocSmo.com earns a small affiliate marketing fee.  Thank you.

Baby-Led Weaning, Completely Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition: The Essential Guide―How to Introduce Solid Foods and Help Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater

Who would have ever thought that feeding an infant solid foods, the way your great grandparents did, would be a cutting edge medical controversy in the 21st century–but it is. So says the authors of Baby Led Weaning, by  British authors Rapley and Murkett. 20th century western society has been all about controlling the introduction of solid food to babies when it is time for them to get more that breastfeeding can offer. It is generally accepted that solid foods, also called complimentary foods, are needed by babies for good growth beyond six months of age. Standard 20th century dogma says that these first foods should be pureed and fed to the infant on a spoon, by his or her parents, introducing one new food at a time, without the addition of spices, salt, or added flavoring that would be normally added to the food.  Home cooked fresh foods were the opposite of what  babies were expected to eat for much of the 20th century America.

Continue reading

Wonder ( Archived Book Review Pedcast)

 Help support DocSmo.com by buying this reviewed book using this affiliate link. You get Amazon’s best price and DocSmo.com earns a small affiliate marketing fee.  Thank you.



By RJ Palacio

Publisher- Alfred Knopf, NY


I was biking with friends recently, one of who is an excellent forth grade teacher named Mindy Passe.  We were talking blog as we whizzed through the streets of Charlotte, and Mindy mentioned a book that readers of my blog may find interesting.  The book is called Wonder, written by R. J. Palacio.  Mindy’s class read the book and discussed its themes, which both the children and the teachers found instructive.  I gave the book a read and in today’s pedcast, I am going to give you my opinion and insights about the book called Wonder, by RJ Palacio. Continue reading

Do You Believe in Magic, by Paul Offit M.D. (Book Review Pedcast)

Help support DocSmo.com by buying this reviewed book using this affiliate link. You get Amazon’s best price and DocSmo.com earns a small affiliate marketing fee.  Thank you.

Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain


Welcome to the DocSmo.com pediatric blog. I am your host, Dr. Paul Smolen, a practicing pediatrician and founder of the docsmo blog. Thank you for joining me today. Today, I am going to review an interesting book written by a well known pediatrician and vaccine expert, who authored  a book that analyses the alternative medicine  and supplement practices in the U.S..

Dr. Paul Offit, the author of Do You Believe in Magic, is a pediatrician and effective advocate for children’s health. He is a hero to many practicing pediatricians because he has been such an effective advocate for vaccines.  In fact, he is probably the most influential advocate doctors have to promote vaccines.  After reading Do you believe in Magic, I can now see why his foes in the anti-vaccine movement dislike him so intensely.  He does not mince words when he decides to criticize practices he does not approve of.  In Do You Believe in Magic, Dr. Offit challenges the biggest names in alternative medicine and politics, with biting pointed criticism of what he sees as mostly quackery and snake oil sales.


The foundation of  Dr. Offit’s book is his faith in the scientific method.  For Dr. Offit, a therapy is only effective if there is good scientific evidence of effectiveness.  Much of the alternative medicine world has no peer-reviewed scientific support and therefore, according to Dr. Offit, is useless …or worse.  Unfortunately, the world is not always so black and white.  Dr. Offit is very good at pointing out instances when reliance on alternative therapies have done great harm to patients, especially when treating famous patients like Steve McQueen and Steve Jobs, but he seems to give conventional medicine a pass on poor science that inflates the effectiveness and minimizes the side effects of western medicinal practices.


Do you Believe in Magic brings a strong point of view to the discussion of alternative versus modern medicine.  Since the majority of people in the U.S. now consume alternative therapies, be they herbs, vitamins, supplements, physical manipulations like chiropractry, or acupuncture, Dr. Offit has started an important discussion.  Even though his title claims to be a balanced look at alternative and complementary medicine, his blunt criticism and visceral tone are anything but balanced.  Magical theories of disease, unproven therapies, false hopes of cure that delay or prevent effective therapy can certainly do great harm as Dr. Offit is quick to point out.  On the other hand, emphasizing better nutrition, stress reduction, improved sleep, the healing power of exercise and meditation are good things that alternative medicine brings to the discussion and can provide healing where pills cannot.  Just because no one has done a double blind, placebo controlled study to prove that the child eating his or her salad everyday improves his or her health doesn’t mean that the salad can’t be helpful to their health. As parents are faced with ever increasing limitations on their healthcare spending, making wise use of these healthcare dollars is increasingly important. For those parets interested in healthcare policy and debates, Dr. Offit’s book is an interesting read. For those parents looking for practical advice and information about pediatrics, you need to look elsewhere. I give Dr. Offit’s latest book 3.5 out of 5 Doc Smo stars.


Thanks for joining me today. I hope you take a few minutes to explore the hundreds of interesting posts and articles I have on my blog, www.docsmo.com.  Until next time.