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Ask Dr. Mike: Halloween Candy, Antibacterial Wipes, Gluten Sensitivity, Ebola vs. Enterovirus D68, and Earthing

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans.

Listen in... because what you come to know will help ensure healthy choices you can actually live with!

This week on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

Are we overusing antibacterial wipes?

Antibacterial wipes help prevent the spread of germs that can cause bacterial infections. It is important to wash your hands and to wipe down common areas at home and work.

However, if you're using the wipes too much, you might be building immunity to certain bacteria, or allowing the bacteria to build a stronger resistance to the wipes. As a society, there may be an overuse. This does not mean you should stop washing your hands; you just have to allow your body to challenge its immune system so when a bigger bacteria or virus comes along, your body is better prepared to fight.

Is the respiratory virus that we're seeing in kids today as bad as Ebola?

The Enterovirus D68 and Ebola have been seen all over the news lately. Enterovirus D68 causes upper respiratory problems in children between the ages of 15 months to 18 years. At least five children have died from this virus. An outbreak of Ebola is currently affecting Western Africa. Ebola is extremely serious and often fatal, so far taking the lives of thousands. This has the U.S. population in a panic.

It's never fair to say one virus is more dangerous than the other, especially when both have taken lives. However, when you have a virus that can travel through the air, it's always more worrisome.

What's the difference between gluten sensitivity and a gluten allergy?

When gluten allergy is mentioned, you might be referring to Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing the protein gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Gluten sensitivity has symptoms such as a foggy mind, headaches, bone or joint pain, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating. Even though people with Celiac disease experience these symptoms as well, gluten sensitivity sufferers don't experience the small intestinal damage.

If you're overexposing yourself to gluten (which could happen, since it's in everything), it can cause your body to react in a negative way (the symptoms listed above).

Should we really worry about one night of lots of candy for kids?

Dr. Mike's personal opinion is no. One day out of the year for your child to overindulge won't hurt. There are, of course, healthy options like whey protein balls, popcorn balls, or sliced apples.

What is earthing and grounding?

Earthing and grounding is the theory that all humans are connected with the earth's energy and that this is crucial for positive health. By walking barefoot, it is believed to enhance this connection between yourself and the ground below you, as well as the earth around you.

There are special pads to help improve the earth's natural energy that you can use within your house and on your bed during sleep.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him so he can help give you support and helpful advice.