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Ask Dr. Mike: Killing Bed Bugs Naturally, Heart Disease, Vitamins C & D During Flu Season

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans. Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today, you wanted to know:

Are there natural ways to kill bed bugs?

You might have seen the list of the worst cities for bed bugs. Bed bugs are a nuisance and a huge nightmare to deal with. When you're traveling, it's always important to check the mattress in your hotel room to see if you have any unwanted pests. If you live in one of the major cities like Chicago or New York that seem to have a major problem with keeping bed bugs under control, your chances of getting bed bugs might be high. But, if you're one of the unlucky and end up toting those buggers home, you may be hesitant to use an exterminator due to the large amounts of chemicals used.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a nontoxic powder that you can dust throughout your home (cracks, bed, doorway, etc.) to prevent them from invading your space. You may also use lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and silica gel.

I heard on Fox News Health that hand sanitizers don't work. Is that true?

No, it's not true. In fact, they actually work in the opposite way and they work too good. There's a term in medicine called hormesis, which is a study on subclinical stressors that are good for the body. Using hand sanitizer builds up immune responses, memory cells and antibodies in your body and can actually harm you later when exposed to larger viruses.

Your immune system needs to be challenged. Studies have shown that children who don't challenge their immune system might be at risk for developing allergies.

Can I take more vitamin C & D during the flu season?

During the cold and flu season, it's okay to increase your dosage of vitamin C to help boost your immune system. However, you have to be more careful with vitamin D since it is fat soluble. You may first want to check your blood levels before increasing your vitamin D intake.

What do you do when you know you have a family member that has a predisposition to heart disease?

If you have a family member and are concerned with heart disease, you may want to have a doctor look at the subtypes of cholesterol levels.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.