"Milk & Cookie Disease"
Dr. Julie Wei has met so many kids that are always "sick" that she’s introduced what she calls the "Milk and Cookie Disease" (MCD), to help explain why.
And it’s actually about way more than just milk and cookies.
According to Dr. Julie Wei, MCD is a condition caused by combining an unhealthy diet with poorly timed eating habits, like drinking soda, juices, milk, eating yogurt, sugary snacks, ice cream and chocolate right before going to sleep.
This combination can create symptoms of illnesses, like a cold or allergies, which may require doctor’s visits, tests and medications or other treatments.
The biggest problem is that too often, medications being prescribed by doctors do not get rid of the symptoms or heal the patient because the real cause of the symptoms is not being treated.
“I remember I had a patient—a 10-year-old girl—who had experienced 27 bouts of croup over her young life. She was on six medications and nothing was working. At one point, I asked her parents about her diet, and they told me she had milk and cookies for a snack every night before bedtime. I suggested they cut out the dairy and sugar in the evenings, and she went six months without any problems. A light bulb went off, and I began asking many of my patients’ parents what they were eating at night. It was astounding how often it was something containing either sugar, dairy, or often both. I felt like I had found a critical non-invasive way to help alleviate ear, nose and throat problems in many children.” — Dr. Julie Wei
A SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OF MCD:
- When kids eat or drink a lot of dairy, sugar, preservatives, and acid (found in processed foods and drinks) the result is a stomach full of highly acidic content.
- As kids sleep, their acidic stomach contents can flow backward and partially digested food can come back up the swallowing tube (esophagus) and even up into the throat.
- For kids, the symptoms of acid reflux are different. They don’t experience “heartburn”, the way adults do. Instead, they typically have congestion and runny nose, cough, sore throat, and even croup. These symptoms are most commonly blamed on allergies, infections, or a cold, by adults and doctors.
- Long term exposure to acid reflux can cause a variety of medical problems such as asthma, bronchospasm, chronic cough, hoarseness, dental problems, and esophageal ulcers.
Dr. Julie Wei spoke at the Wilmington TEDx on the hidden dangers of the “Milk and Cookies Disease.”
- A child with symptoms is seen by his or her pediatrician.
- The parents/caregivers share that these symptoms are not going away.
- The child is examined and the pediatrician believes that the child is truly sick based on the symptoms.
- There is little or no discussion regarding what the child is eating and when, or other diet and lifestyle habits (like a lack of exercise).
- The physician makes a diagnosis based on their best “guess.” Based on the doctor’s assumptions, medications are then prescribed, such as inhalers, nasal spray and antihistamines or antibiotics.
- The child may even be referred to specialists (like a pulmonologist, allergist or ENT).
If the physician has identified the exact cause and prescribed the proper treatment, the child should get better.But, what if the physician has not identified the exact cause?
- The child is sent to a specialist.
- The child is given another diagnoses.
- The child is given another prescription.
- The child may be treated surgically.
This is the biggest problem with MCD. Conventional treatments don’t work because the real cause has not been identified.
Until the medical field formally recognizes this condition, MCD will continue to be misdiagnosed as a wide variety of illnesses.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS
Dr. Julie Wei has outlined a comprehensive list of causes and symptoms that may be impacting your child.
“It’s time the medical field at large recognizes the need to acknowledge MCD officially, given the vast number of children suffering from it and the millions of dollars spent to unsuccessfully treat it.” – Dr. Julie Wei