Browsing: Allergies

Why Do More People Have Allergies Now Than Ever Before?

Did you know that allergy symptoms have everything to do with your immune system's response to foods and particles? So if your immune system is in a poor state, your chances of having allergies increases. You may have noticed that more and more children are growing up with allergic reactions to pets and foods. You also see more people with eczema, hay fever, lupus, multiple sclerosis and asthma due to a poor immune system. You'll find more and more families trusting and utilizing naturopathic care center to obtain allergy testing and natural treatment.

All of the aforementioned diseases are caused by the immune system not being able to recognize common substances that are harmless, like peanuts and pollen. If this is a problem you have, then your body's defense systems are out of whack. MS, lupus, Type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease are all considered autoimmune diseases.

An autoimmune disease is when your body attacks itself, such as the nerves, digestive tract or pancreas. According to experts, the amount of people living with allergies and autoimmune diseases have quadrupled within just a few decades. In fact, more than 50 percent of Americans today have at least one allergy.

Why the Rise in Allergies?

There are different speculations as to the reasons why this problem is growing at such a rapid rate in a short period of time. One explanation given is that it's due to our modern way of living. Today's kids are growing up in sterilized homes, which prevails their immune systems from becoming stronger. In the past, your body was exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses at an early age, which helped to develop your immune system. This is known as the hygiene hypothesis.

Another explanation is that our diet and air pollution are to blame, along with our sedentary lifestyles and obesity. Both seem to point to how we live today, which goes to show that whatever it's we're doing, it's causing our health to decline. These issues are mainly seen in North America and Europe. However, allergies and autoimmune diseases are now starting to rise in other countries that are developing.

Sterile Lifestyles = Increased Allergies

You'd think that living a cleaner life would be better for your body and health, but if the hygienic hypothesis is right, then this is why most people in America now suffer from allergies. Your immune system is underdeveloped and so it is unable to decipher between real threats and harmless particles, such as dust bunnies and pollen.

You may know of some people who like to travel around with a bottle of antibacterial hand sanitizer everywhere they go. Then the foods they eat and prescriptions that they take are also filled with antibiotics, which are used kill off all types of germs. This lifestyle is hindering you from being exposed to the germs, which would in turn allow your body to identify them.

The food and medical industry are too busy killing these bacteria and now generations later, we have children and adults who have never been exposed to them. While it's a good thing that viruses, bacteria and parasites are being reduced, it's not a good thing for your body's defense mechanisms.

Speaking with a naturopathic doctor can help you learn how to better care for your family members who have allergies.

How the Immune System Works

There are two parts to your immune system – one releases white blood cells, which attack cells in your body that have been infected and the other attacks the intruder responsible for infecting the cells. You should consult with a family care physician that specializes in naturopathic care, so you can learn natural ways to treat allergy symptoms. You can also obtain other services, like ozone therapy.

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Why Do Food Allergies Happen?

“According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011” (FARE) Food allergies have always been around, yet we still do not know exactly why it is that they develop in our bodies. There are many theories that seem to be on track in finding a true reason for the cause of allergies, but until then, we'll rely on all the expert opinions.

Immune systems protect our bodies by producing special proteins called antibodies, which identify potential threats in our bodies. They signal our immune systems to release chemicals to kill these threats. A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts and mistakenly identifies proteins in foods as threats, signaling a release of chemicals that cause food reactions to kill them. In most common food allergies, it is the antibody Immunoglobulin E (IgE) that recognizes proteins in foods as threats. It can release many harmful chemicals, including Histamine. Histamine is a main cause for many of the symptoms of allergic reactions, such as small blood vessels expanding, swelling and reddening of surrounding skin, itchiness, and increased mucous production in the nose lining, causing itching and a burning sensation. There is also another type of food allergy called “non-IgE mediated food allergy,” which is caused by different cells in immune systems. These are usually harder to detect because there are no tests to confirm their presence. This type of allergy usually only affects the skin and digestive system. This can lead to symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, and eczema, although, in babies it may also cause diarrhoea and reflux. Antibodies are Y-shaped protein molecules made up of several different regions, all with important parts for when it comes to neutralizing pathogens, among other invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and toxins.It is divided into two heavy proteins chains and two light protein chains. These chains are even further divided into three sections as shown in the image: blue, green, and orange. In total, the protein chains include 12 domains.

The heavy protein chains consist of 2 constant domains of CH1, CH2, and CH3 and variable VH, while the light protein chains consist of 2 constant domains of CL and variable VL. The antigen binding site is made up of complementary determining regions' (CDRs) loops L1, L2, and L3 and loops H1, H2, and H3. But how do antibodies work? There are three ways in which they function. They will either bind to the pathogen to prevent it from damaging other healthy cells, they will stimulate other parts of the immune systems, like complement proteins, to destroy it, or they will mark pathogens through a process called opsonization, allowing other immune cells to identify and attack it. The first method is called Antigen Binding. Antibodies have two antigen binding sites where they attach to antigens. The size and shapes of the finger-like loops determine which pathogens they can grab on to. This is necessary because during Opsonization … both the membranes of the phagocytes that attack the pathogens both have a negative charge, so they naturally repel each other. When they attach, the antibody also attaches its Fc region, or “tail,” to the phagocyte to neutralize the charge so the phagocyte and pathogen can near each other. A typical way pathogens are eliminated during opsonization is through phagocytosis. During phagocytosis, white blood cells surround pathogens, and then pull inside their own membranes to finish them off with enzymes. The problem is that the membranes of the phagocytes and pathogens are both negatively charged, meaning that the repel each other. The antibody is also capable of stimulating the phagocyte, making it more efficient.

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How To Know If Your Child Is Suffering From A Seasonal Allergy

You may have noticed that your child tends to fall ill during a particular season every month. Or you may suspect an allergy but not be sure of it. If you know what to look for, it will help you get one step closer to helping your kid deal with it better and possibly preventing certain allergies. If you know what has caused the problem, simple things like cleaning your air conditioner or washing your linens more often could help cut down the allergens in your home.

Common Allergens to Look Out for

While a lot of kids do get affected by the pollen in the air during the spring, many of them also react to indoor allergens during the fall. So it can be a little difficult to pinpoint what is causing the problem. For example, dust is one of the leading causes of an allergy. Dust is made of tiny dust mites along with pollen, mold and a number of other fine particles that can affect a lot of people. The fur of animals like dogs and cats may not agree with some children while others may react to certain materials used in clothing or toys. Many different foods cause reactions in children and bacterial enzymes used in cleaning products may also bring out allergic reactions.

When to Suspect an Allergy and Common Symptoms

Some allergies are very easy to detect because your child may noticeably react to a particular substance or in particular conditions. But some of them can be a lot more subtle, making it difficult for a person to pinpoint the allergen. However, there are certain signs or symptoms that you should look out for. If they keep occurring in a certain place or at a certain time, keep our eye out for a common factor that may help you figure out what your son or daughter is allergic to. These are the common signs:

• Sneezing or sniffling
• A runny nose
• Rubbing of the nose frequently
• Continuous clearing of the throat
• Itchy or runny eyes

Visiting the Pediatrician

Tackling your child's allergies will require the help of your pediatrician. Since this is an on-going process and needs to be given attention to every year, it is best that you work with your pediatrician in order to diagnose what your child is allergic to and then try to control the symptoms. The pediatrician may prescribe certain medication like decongestants, nasal sprays or anti-histamines. In certain cases they may also send you to an allergy specialist if they feel that your kid requires some form of special treatment.

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The Importance of Gut Flora and Allergy Prevention

When you hear the word bacteria, what comes to mind? If you're like most people, the thought of disease and pestilence comes to mind. But did you know there is such a thing as good bacteria, and that your body is filled with it? In naturopathic medicine, patients are taught different ways to increase good bacteria, otherwise known as flora, which can be found in your digestive tract and reproductive organs.

Whenever you have an imbalance of gut flora, it leads to common problems, like issues digesting. But before we get into that, let's first discuss what gut bacteria does.

Your Body's Microbiome

Inside of your gut and other areas of the body, you will find colonies of different types of microbes. Everyone's micribiome is unique (similar to a fingerprint). This is determined by various factors, such as your diet, medical history, where you live, lifestyle and ancestry. It is a very complex ecosystem and you'll find nothing like it on this planet earth.

To give some perspective, your body's bacteria outnumber your cells by 10 to 1. Viruses outnumber bacteria 10 to 1. So right now, your body is filled with over 100 trillion bacteria and a quadrillion viruses.

All of the organizations in your body are responsible for a particular function that's needed to maintain optimal health. For instance, your gut flora can enhance your immune response, system function and can prevent various diseases, including food allergies.

More People Have Allergies Today then Ever Before

There is an epic spreading across the earth. About 15 million Americans are living with allergies and one in every 13 children are plagued with this illness. This is why it's recommended to have allergy testing done to pinpoint the allergen. Once you know what's causing your symptoms, you can obtain treatment from a naturopathic medicine clinic.

The Role of Gut Bacteria in Protecting Against Allergies

In one study using mice, it was found that gut flora called Clostridia could help stop your body from developing allergic reactions to food. What's surprising is that once Clostridia bacteria numbers were restored in the mice, the food allergens were reversed.

Further research showed that Clostridia plays a significant role in preventing leaky gut syndrome, which happens when your blood is polluted with allergens, leading to an immune response. This has lead to a number of natural allergy treatment options, like probiotic therapies and SLIT.

There's no definite answer for why allergies occur, but it's believed that modern hygienic and dietary practices play a significant role in disturbing the natural bacterial composition inside your body. This includes having C-sections, eating high fat diets, overusing antibiotics and bottle feeding formula to babies. Based on the results of the study “Bunning Food Allergy” performed by the University of Chicago, these are the most likely causes of today's increase in allergies.

Gut Flora Disruption Lead to Long-Term Metabolic Issues

Aside from allergies, early disruption of gut bacteria can also cause issues with your metabolism. In a study done recently, infants that were exposed to antibiotics increased to have problems with obesity. This study was published in Cell, which showed that mice given antibiotics their first month of life were 25 percent heavier as they grew older and had 60 percent more fat.

Maintain a Healthy Microbiome

A diet change is needed if you want to maintain healthy gut bacteria levels. For instance, you want to rule out grains, sugar, processed and pasteurized foods, chlorinated tap water, GMOs and conventionally-raised meat products. You can also talk to a doctor of naturopathic medicine to learn more about preventing an imbalance in gut flora.

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Hay Fever and Mowing Grass – Some Solutions

Do you have hay fever symptoms when you're mowing the lawn?

If you're in doubt, an allergy to grass (and other) pollens can result in one or more of the following:

  • red, sore and runny eyes
  • a blocked nose and / or sneezing
  • skin rashes and blotches plus a general 'itchiness'
  • a blocked and catarrh-ridden throat
  • a tickly cough sometimes combined with wheeziness
  • sinus headaches
  • a general feeling of malaise.

Of course, if you're suffering any such symptoms, it would always be sensible to get a doctor to check your assumptions about hay fever as a cause. Assuming it is though, what can you do about it?

Do not Ignore It

Hay fever was once laughed-off by many, including some heath care professionals, as being a trivial thing or 'in the mind'.

In today's more enlightened times, it's recognized to be a potential major problem that can seriously reduce sufferers' effectiveness in work or when doing jobs around the house.

There are some medications you can take to help and your doctor will discuss those with you including the traditional anti-histamines, although other treatments are also possible. They may also advise taking some tests to try and specifically identify just what type of pollen or dust you're allergic to.


In some cases, those working with agricultural machinery and lawnmowers may wish to consider a few additional tips that may help.

  • Depending upon your specific allergy, research which times of the day offer the best working conditions. Some pollens are far more active in the early morning and others in the late evening etc. Avoid those times!
  • If the main effects on you are respiratory and throat-related, consider using a mask. Make sure it's rated for pollen elimination.
  • If you're mainly affected in the eyes, think about goggles but you'll need special varieties that do not have unfiltered ventilation holes or you'll be wasting your time.
  • Consider using overalls and 'covering up' if the worst effects are skin-related. There are also some barrier creams that can be effective.
  • Remember that some allergies commonly called “hay fever” are nothing to do with pollen at all. Your allergies might be due to, say, harvest dust or just the dust thrown up when driving around on the land. Another culprit is often household dust, the largest component of which is usually dead human skin cells! If you're really allergic to harvest dust and related issues, then you'll need to take some of the above steps or also look at working in a vehicle with a cab providing filtered air
  • When you've finished your cutting, make sure you undress outside the house and try and shower quickly once inside. There's little point keeping lots of the pollen on your overalls and mask if you then take it all into your home at the end of the day, shaking it about as you move around!

Most employers are sympathetic to employees who suffer from hay fever, so if you need anything to help you get through the day and perform appropriately, let them know.

If it's a personal rather than a work related issue, then you might just have to ask your spouse, kids or a well-disposed neighbor to lend a hand in the peak allergy season!

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Allergies 102: Identifying and Treating Tree Nut Allergy

One of the most common food allergies you'll find is to tree nuts. Tree nuts include those that grow on trees, like almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and cashews. Do not confuse this with allergies for peanuts, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds, since these all grow from the ground. You can learn ways to improve your condition using natural allergy treatments by consulting with an integrative medicine practitioner.

Tree Nut Allergies in Adults and Children

Tree nut allergies affects both adults and children alike. The illness can cause several reactions, which is why it's required to carry around an epinephrine auto-injector. This and staying as far away as possible from nuts that grow on trees is key for staying safe. It's a good idea to learn how to read labels, so you can refrain from buying and eating foods that contain these types of nuts or traces of such ingredients.

Normally, this type of allergies last your entire life. Studies performed recently reveal that nine percent of children with tree nut allergies outgrow their condition. But for those who do not, natural allergy treatment can be used. Do note that siblings of kids with these allergies are at a higher risk of also being allergic to the same or similar items. One way to know for sure is to take your children for allergy testing at an integrative medicine center near you.

It's also common for individuals to be allergic to more than one type of tree nut. So if allergy testing shows you're allergic to one, then it's better to stay safe and avoid them all. It's especially important to stay away from peanuts, since they are oftentimes come into contact with other nuts that grow on trees during processing and manufacturing.

Staying Away from Tree Nuts

Until you obtain treatment for your allergy symptoms, it's a good idea to learn how to protect yourself from allergy attacks. Thankfully, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act has made it mandatory for all food products packaged and sold in America to have labels detailing whether there are these types of nuts inside the ingredients. If so, this has to be clearly labeled on the product.

So all you need to do is take the time to read labels before you make a purchase. It's best to check each time you shop because some ingredients change over time. Unusual places you may find a variety of nuts that grow on tree include cereals, cookies, crackers, chocolates, frozen desserts, marinades, energy bars and flavored coffee. There are some alcoholic beverages that contain it as well.

If you'd like to learn more about natural allergy treatment , you should visit with an integrative medicine practitioner. They can provide various services, such as SLIT and chelation therapy.

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Latex Mattresses – Make Your Bed Allergy Free

Suffering from allergies can lead to changes in your physical, emotional and mental conditions. If you want to enjoy a healthier and more peaceful sleep you will need to get rid of all allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and pollen from your bedding. The first step to eliminating your allergy symptoms is to find an “allergy-proof” mattress where you can sleep free from any allergy causing culprits. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to experience a noticeable difference in your allergy symptoms.

Preventing Dust Mites in Pillows and Bedding

The best way to keep your bed allergen free is to wash your cover weekly with hot water. The covers should be washed with appropriate products and dried in a hot dryer to create a protective shell to keep allergens from getting into your bed surface. If your mattress or pillow is not brand new, you can still apply this method for additional protection. Dust mite protection covers will trap allergens that may cause you asthma, runny nose and sneezing while you sleep.

There are a lot of claims by mattresses manufactures that washing with hot water will take the allergens away and can also kill dust mites. The routine cleaning is necessary to maintain a dust-free environment and also can help reduce exposure to cockroaches, another important source of asthma in some allergic people.

No Pets Allowed

If you are dust-sensitive, especially if you have allergies and / or asthma, you can reduce some of your misery by creating a “dust-free” bedroom. Dust may contain molds, fibers and dander from dogs, cats and other animals, as well as tiny dust mites. These mites, which live in bedding, upholstered furniture and carpets, thrive in the summer and die in the winter. They will, however, continue to thrive in the winter if the house is warm and humid. The particles seen floating in a shaft of sunlight include dead mites and their waste products. The waste products actually provoke the allergic reaction.

You probably can not control dust conditions under which you work or spend your daylight hours. If your nose runs and your eyes are suffering too, I have some bad news: it is time to ban your pets from sleeping in your bed. The proteins found in a pet`s skin can also cause an allergic reaction so the best to do is to keep your cat or dog off your bed. Pet allergy symptoms are not naive so it`s important to clean the entire bedding to eliminate any pet dander that has previously settled. If for some reason your cat or dog is trying to sneak into your bed keep your bedroom doors closed in order to keep your cat or dog from entering.

You need to make sure to focus on cleaning your house and keep it fresh and allergy free. There is no sense of drinking any medications and sleep on a toxic bed. To limit the danger in the interior of your own home, you need to resolve the problem with the air you are breathing at night. Smoking could also be one possible cause for your allergy discomfort.

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3 Tips for Finding Relief During Horrible Allergy Seasons

If you're planning to travel this summer, you may end up in a location with high pollen counts. These tiny little particles can become lodged in your nose, throat and eyes, triggering common symptoms associated with allergies, including itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, headaches, diarrhea and runny nose. You should plan your family trips carefully with the help of a naturopathic care physician.

Seasonal Allergies Increase

The amount of people struggling with seasonal allergies is increasing, along with the severity of the symptoms. Remember, allergies is nothing but an over-reaction of your immune system to particles that are not harmful. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there has been a rapid increase over the past 15 years, bringing allergic rhinitis cases up to 10 to 16 percent of the American adult population. This costs the healthcare system around $ 18 billion every year.

So far, there are not any solid reasons for the increase in allergies. However, there are various steps and techniques naturopathic family care professionals recommend.

Get Allergy Testing

Are you sure why you're having allergic-like reactions? Some people mistake allergy symptoms for a cold or virus. One way to know for sure is to go to a naturopathic center to have allergy testing performed. This will help identify the triggers of the symptoms. At this point, you can consider natural allergy treatment, such as SLIT. This is a non-invasive method that can help gradually diminish your allergies.

Try Salt Water

The allergy medicines sold in stores can leave you foggy-brained and drowsy, making them a non-popular choice for many people. Most naturopathic doctors do not recommend over-the-counter drugs because they just cover up the symptoms. Salt water is an alternative you can try. A saline nasal rinse can help clarify your nasal membranes of pollen and other particles. You can also gargle with salt water to help alleviate your sore throat. This should be done once or twice daily to reduce congestion.

Take Off Your Shoes

When you get home from work or school, it's a good idea to remove your shoes and clothing near the door. This will help to reduce the amount of pollen and other airborne contaminants that enter your home. Keep a hamper near the door, so you can have a place to put your outdoor clothes.

If you want natural allergy treatment to be a part of your family care regimen, consult with a naturopathic doctor today!

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What to Do If Someone Is Having a Severe Allergic Reation

Anaphylaxis, or a life threatening allergic reaction, is a time critical medical emergency which requires quick management and intervention. Many people know of someone, or have come across a person who may be “anaphylactic” (severely allergic) to some allergen, whether it be a wasp sting, nuts, of certain fruit. When the body is exposed to that specific allergen, it's autoimmune response goes into an 'overkill' mode which then unfortunately causes major problems for the body's other systems. A common issue is inflammation, swelling around the face, mouth, throat, and neck can quickly occlude the airway and cause the individual to suffocate. Another issue is the displacement of fluids in the body. The individuals blood pressure can significantly drop and cause hypo-perfusion to major organs, causing damage and death.

During the initial faze when an anaphylactic individual accidentally comes into contact with an allergen, they may panic and alert you to the fact that they have eaten something that's allergic to, or that their throat might be starting to swell up. During this initial realization, an ambulance needs to be called immediately. Time is of the essence now, and emergency help will be required as soon as possible. If the individual was stung by an insect, use a credit card to scrape away the stinger, do not try to pick at it or squeeze it out as this may squeeze further poison from the stinger into the skin making the situation worse. An individual who suffers from anaphylaxis will often carry an epipen with them. This is an injection that will reverse the body's effects in trying to fight the allergen. Make sure that they take it as soon as possible to start the reverse process. The individual may even carry piriton or chlorphenamine, other anti-allergen drugs, if they have them, remind them about them as they could take them before the swelling gets too bad so they can not swallow. If the individual has not got these items on them and the ambulance has not arrived yet, see if other people around you have them. Ensure that the individual takes the items themselves and do not force it upon them, there may be unknown reasons why they can not take the items which you may not be aware of.

If the individual collapses, place them in the recovery position and make sure someone is waiting to flag down the ambulance. The 999 telephone operator will be able to provide further advice on how long the ambulance will be, and what more you can do until the ambulance arrives.

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Is There a Link Between Allergies and Farm Antibiotics?

There are over 15 million people in America with allergies. Children with allergies is growing in number, with one in every 13 kids suffering from the illness. Numbers also reveal that food allergies have grown by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. This is not just a concern in America either, Great Britain is seeing allergies rise as well, with one in every three people suffering from the disease. It's an issue naturopathic doctors around the globe are successfully attacking with natural remedies, like SLIT and a simple diet change.

But rather than focusing on the solution, you have to wonder what's causing the problem. If we can pinpoint the source, then you can eliminate it before it becomes an issue.

Today's Agriculture is Destroying Our Bodies

In one study that was done, it showed that those who were exposed to antibiotics early in their life were at a 40 percent higher risk of developing eczema as a child. Other studies show that consuming genetically engineered foods, especially those that used an herbicide called glyphosate, destroys the good bacteria in your gut. This is when allergy symptoms set in.

The gut bacteria, or Clostridia, is what helps stop sensitization to food allergens. However, when it's destroyed by the foods you eat, your microbiome is altered, resulting to food allergies.

Allergic Reactions Caused by Antibiotic Pesticides

There are multiple reasons why the organic craze has hit home pretty hard. People are beginning to learn and understand how pesticides and herbicdes are damaging the human body. Glyphosate is only one issue we've been seeing. What makes this herbicide so toxic is because it has antibiotic action. Antibiotics are also found in fungi and pesticides.

According to research, serious allergic reactions have been linked to antibiotic pesticides. The study involved a 10-year-old girl who had a severe allergic reaction to blueberry pie. What was really causing the problem was the pesticide applied to the blueberries called sreptomycin. This was the first time pesticides had ever been linked to an allergic reaction.

Although this was a rare case, doctors everywhere needed to be aware of this, especially when treating allergies in the emergency room. It's also recommended that allergy sufferers switch to a diet that is all-organic, especially pregnant women and children. However, it would be a healthier choice for everyone, whether they are allergy-prone or not.

Antibiotics Used in Agriculture Needs to Stop

About 80 percent of antibiotic use in America is on healthy livestock. If the people of the world really want to combat food allergies, then they need to come together and eliminate the culprit – antibiotics. Shocking revelations have been made throughout the years in studies performed, like the one done in 2009 by the FDA, which showed that factory farms used 29 million pounds of antibiotics that year.

Studies have also shown that these agricultural antibiotics are linked to antibiotic resistant disease. This is a major concern for doctors in the naturopathic and traditional medicine community. Even the CDC has published a report that states a correlations between antibiotic resistance and the antibiotic used in livestock.

Organic Food Is the Way

Pharmaceutical companies and corporates farms are not working fast enough to help eliminate this problem, so it's up to consumers to do something about it. Everyone has the power to vote on food choice. If we stop buying conventionally-grown foods, we are telling corporations we want organic. Corporations have and always will follow the money. Naturopathic doctors believe eating an organic diet is the best option anyway. They also recommend natural solutions for other health concerns, like ozone therapy for cancer and hormone replacement therapy for men and women struggling with hormonal imbalances.

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Is There a Link Between Dishwashers and Your Allergies?

For decades, hand washing dishes was the norm in households around the nation. But with the event of the dishwasher, this became less common. Just about every home in America today has a dishwasher in it. The only use sinks have today is to soak dishes before they're placed into the dishwasher. But what if this was the reason you and your family members were witnessing allergy symptoms? This is something that's being explored in the medical community. If you receive family care in a naturopathic center, such as natural allergy treatment, you may learn that hand washing dishes is a better option.

Research shows that hand washing your dishes may help reduce the risk of children developing allergy-related conditions, including eczema and asthma.

The Hygiene hypothesis

Most people are unaware that there's testing going on to determine the connection between allergy reactions and cleanliness. If you're like most people, you believe that a super clean home and environment is the key to keeping you and your family healthy. It makes sense, but it is not necessarily true.

In this theory, it's suggested that when children have early exposure to various microbes, it helps their immune system become strong. When you have a healthy immune system, it will not mistake foods and other harmless substances as an enemy, which results to allergic reactions.

The Role Dishwashing Plays

In recent studies, there seems to be a relationship between how you wash dishes and the risk of developing allergies. These findings suit the hygiene hypothesis. There are also studies that show dishwashing frequently does not help reduce the amount of bacteria present, which you have exposed to while washing dishes. This microbial exposure helps stimulate your immune system and make it strong.

However, it's difficult to definitively prove that handwashing can indeed reduce your chances of developing an allergic disease. If your family sufferers from allergies and would like to receive naturopathic care, then you should consult with a local practitioner.

The Results

In the study, the parents of more than 1,000 Swedish children between 7 and 8 years old were questioned about their children's history of seasonal allergies, eczema and asthma. The families were asked about how they washed their dishes. Twelve percent of them wash dishes by hand. The children in this 12 percent had half the risk of developing allergy-related conditions.

Naturopathic centers can help you and your family take better care of your health. Learn more about allergies and how you can stop them naturally by going to a local naturopathic doctor.

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Is It Possible to Be Allergic to Your Internet Wi-Fi?

We all know how allergenic pollen and certain foods are, but no one really thinks to look at their Wi-Fi box as a culprit for allergic reactions. Stats show that 98 percent of Americas are connected to high-speed Wi-Fi connections – that's a pretty big number. The sensitivities to wireless Internet has not reached mainstream media as of yet, but certainly warrants a closer look by the general public. As the doctors in naturopathic medicine that provide family care tell their patients – it's up to you to make sure you and your families are kept safe. No entity is going to ensure this, especially not the corporations you've grown to trust.

What is Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS)?

The condition associated with adverse reactions to Wi-Fi is known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome, or EHS. This is when you exhibit signs of high sensitivity when around electromagnetic fields. Areas like this include wireless hotspots. Some may witness pain or other types of symptoms, such as headaches, itchy skin, burning skin, muscle aches, nausea and fatigue.

The medical community has not established this as a condition because the symptoms are subjective to the person and can vary from person to person. This makes it hard for experts to study the effects and causes. Some agree that this is a condition and others are not quite convinced.

So far there have been over 30 studies conducted about exposure to Wi-Fi and the effects it causes, if any. Tests were done on various electromagnetic fields, including phone signals, radar dishes and Wi-Fi hotspots.

Health Dangers of EMF

There's still a lot of skepticism surrounding the idea of ​​Wi-Fi signals causing harm to the body, be it small or major. There's a great division in both the scientific and medical communities. Naturopathic family care physicians will more than likely tell you to play it safe and go with wired communications versus wireless, for this specific reason.

The aforementioned 30 studies were reviewed during a workshop given by the World Health Organization back in 2004. The editors from the workshop noted that some of the symptoms listed in the studies could have derived from pre-existing psychiatric conditions, such as stress-related reactions resulting from worrying about the health effects of EMF, rather than the actual exposure itself. They also added that EHS is indeed a real and sometimes disabling issue for the individuals influenced by it.

Other Parts of the World Take Action

If you do research about EMF and radiation spewed from radio towers, cell phones, routers and other devices emitting these waves, you'll learn about various health dangers associated with them. This is the first time in history we have been exposed to all of this radiation at a large scale every single day – being a science experiment does not sound like a good idea.

This is why countries like Sweden and the UK are doing something about it. In Sweden, they acknowledge this threat and are dealing with it by distributing educational language to people to help raise awareness. In the Mast Action UK is also in Great Britain doing similar works, along with the Electromagnetic Radiation Alliance located in Australia. Europe, so far, is the only place that is doing something about this imminent threat.

What You Can Do

If you're worried about the effects of Wi-Fi, you can resort back to high-speed cable connections using Ethernet. You can also turn off your cell phones at night when they're not in use. Those who absolutely need Wi-Fi are advised to unplug their routers and modems at night or whenever they're not in use.

If you're worried about the allergies witnessed in your family, you can go under the care of a naturopathic doctor. At a naturopathic center, you can obtain allergy testing and natural allergy treatment .

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The Chemistry of Allergies

An allergy is characterized as an immune reaction to the presence of certain substances in one's body. Allergies occur when the immune system mistakes a harmless substance for a pathogen. The immuniglobin responsible for allergies is the IgE immuniglobin. Humans are not born with IgE antibodies in their body. The IgE develops 10 days after the first exposure to allergens. Therefore, it takes repeated exposure to an allergen, to develop an allergy. Allergies are often not formed upon first exposure.

Have you ever wondered why people have specific allergies? This is because IgE immuniglobins have a single protein structure and a set of molecules that all have a slightly different structure. The IgE, for example that reacts with pollen, is not the same IgE that will react with dust. People who have allergic reactions, also have more IgE present in their bodies than the average, non-allergy containing person. For example: people with hay fever have about 14 times as much IgE as those who do not.

There are four basic ways that allergens can enter human bodies: inhaling, touching, ingestion or by injection. There are also two basic types of allergic reactions known as: immediate or delayed. In a delayed allergic reaction, symptoms usually appear about 4 hours, to a few days after exposure to an allergen. In an immediate reaction, symptoms usually appear only minutes after exposure.

The chemical that is associated with the symptoms of allergy such as itching or swilling, is called Histamine. Histamine is the main chemical involved in allergies. Histamine is formed from the breakdown of Histine, which is an amino acid. Histamine causes many things that lead to the symptoms experienced during an allergic reaction. Histamine, for example, can cause contraction or clarification of certain muscles, or stimulate the production of tears or saliva. It can also cause blood vessels to become dilated, which leads to swelling. The most severe reaction related to histamine is known as anaphylactic shock. This occurs when an allergy causes a significant drop in blood pressure, and can result in death.

There are chemical treatments that are used to treat allergies. Some of these treatments include: steroids and antihistamines. Antihistamines are the most commonly distributed chemical treatment for allergies. Antihistamines simply block histamines from certain sites on cells, which causes the allergic reaction caused by histamines from occurring. There are very many antihistamine medications that affect people in different ways. That is why it is best to consult a doctor about the one best suited to your specific body type and allergy. Steroids work to tie swelling, itching and redness that occurs as a result of an allergic reaction. Therefore, steroids are often used on allergy symptoms such as hives or eczema.

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Are Your Cold Symptoms Really Allergies? Find Out

The symptoms of a cold and allergies are very similar – runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, sore throat and stuffy head. As the seasons change, so does your body. It's common for people to catch a cold each time the season changes, which can make it difficult to know if they're experiencing seasonal allergies or just a common cold. A naturopathic family care provider can offer natural allergy testing and treatment.

Another way to tell if your symptoms are related to a cold or allergies is to look for telltale signs, such as a fever. This is normally associated with the flu and cold. People are typically confused because allergies are sometimes called hay fever, but this is not actually a fever. How long you notice the symptoms also provides a clue to the cause.

If you have a cold, the symptoms will usually last no longer than two weeks. Allergies, on the other hand, last a whole lot longer. Some people witness allergy symptoms an entire season or through the entire year. This is especially the case for those battling indoor allergens like mold and dust mites.

Determining if You Have Allergies

Aside from going to a naturopathic family care center to receive testing, there are other ways to know if your symptoms are due to a cold or allergies. For example, if you notice that your symptoms tend to get worse during a certain time of day or during particular activities, then it could be allergies. Anyone allergic to dust mites may wake up with congestion. Those who notice symptoms while taking a morning walk may notice signs due to pollen in the air.

A child having sneezing and coughing symptoms during the dead of winter and after being around friends who are ill, probably has a cold. Age can also help with determining where symptoms derive from. Outdoor allergies normally come about between four and six years old. Indoor allergies normally begin around 3 years old.

Other signs a child may have allergies is if he or she has eczema. It's very common for eczema and allergies to coexist. Those who witness both are also more likely to develop asthma. A child is at a higher risk of developing allergies if both parents have it.

Mucus is another area you can check to see if you have allergies or just another cold. If you notice your mucus is clear and water-like, then it's more likely allergies. Thicker green-tinted mucus is an indication of a virus.

Symptoms you want to watch out for include chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath, as this can be a sign of asthma or allergic asthma.

Food-induced Asthma Symptoms

Allergies like pollen and dander can contribute to asthma flareups. It's also known that food allergies can cause the same thing. This is not as common as airborne allergens, but it is still important to know about. It first starts out as regular food allergy symptoms, like nausea and vomiting, hives, rash or diarrhea, then followed by asthmatic symptoms like wheezing and coughing. It's also possible for the throat to swell, making it harder to breathe – this is also known as anaphylaxis.

There are a number of ingredients found in junk food that can increase risk of allergies and asthma during childhood. Food preservatives are one culprit that can cause asthma attacks. One in particular is sulfites, which can be found inside of shrimp, wine and dried fruits.

Sometimes, the best way to avoid allergies is to change the way you eat. You can learn more about natural treatment for allergy symptoms by consulting with a naturopathic family care physician.

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Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity – Is It Really Just “All in Your Head?”

In recent years, there has been a backlash against the gluten-free “fad,” as mainstream reporting has dubbed it. For example, the results from a series of (very short-term) studies conducted at Monash University during 2011 suggested that much of what we see as gluten sensitivity is “psychosomatic.”

Other medical professionals, the wheat industry and even some friendly to advocating for natural, evidence-based alternatives like Dr. Greger, think the case against eating wheat is overblown, if not downright fraudulent.

The gluten-free proponents, by contrast, say that research suggests that everyone, not just people diagnosed with celiac disease, may benefit from a gluten-free diet.

For example, a 2007 article in the journal GUT points to evidence that a common (sometimes universal) inflammatory response to gluten leads to increased intestinal permeability (so-called “leaky gut”) which then allows a person with susceptible genes to develop the antibody and autoimmune response we call coeliac disease. In essence, they argue that everyone may experience inflammation upon the ingestion of gluten, and this inflammation may lead to a wide range of other health problems.

Some of the symptoms associated with gluten intake include: Constipation and bloating, diarrhea, gastroesophageal reflux, fatigue, depression, skin rashes, muscle aches and muscle damage, neuropathy (nerve dysfunction, especially motor and sensory dysfunction), migraine headaches, seizures, kidney disease (IgA nephropathy), type I diabetes, infertility, and mouth sores but doctors may fail to link these conditions with gluten intake.

In addition – unless you're buying organic bread – wheat, for example, is drenched with Monsanto's carcinogenic glyphosate Round-up just days before harvest, because wheat crops increase their seed output just before dying off after having been sprayed with glyphosate 7-10 days before harvest, according to Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT.

Not only has glyphosate been found to be probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization, but has been linked to a variety of other health issues including depression, diabetes and – you guessed it – coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.

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While it is prudent to look at all angles of any claims made in respect of foods and other substances said to either promote or threaten our health, we can all test the two opposing theories for ourselves by going gluten-free for a month or so, especially if we're suffering from digestive symptoms or any number of inflammatory conditions thought to be linked to gluten. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

In the 15-minute TEDx talk, “Daily Bread,” linked to below, Dr Ford, a gastroenterologist, has obtained plenty of evidence in working with children that excluding gluten from the diet has helped 80% of his patients regain their health, drug -free. The talk starts off slow but gets more hilarious further along.

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