A Breastfeeding Guide to Cows’ Milk Allergy

Cows' milk allergy affects a small percentage of babies born each year. Many outgrow the allergy as their small bodies develop, but some may have the problem for life. Some of us are under the misapprehension that the allergy does not affect breastfed babies: this is untrue. While CMA is less prevalent among breastfed babies, it does occur more often than we realize.

Whether a baby is fed with the breast or a bottle, the symptoms are the same. A baby may be colicky, suffer diarrhoea, constipation, reflux after feeds, vomiting (more than posseting, which is very common in a newborn) and even skin rashes or breathing difficulties in the most different of reactions. Breastfed babies are known to have sloppier dirty nappies than their bottle-fed counterparts, so diarrhoea may be a little less obvious, especially to a first time breastfeeding mother or a first time parent who is not sure what is normal.

Cows' milk allergy is often confirmed by an appointment with a dietician who will ask a few questions and may require a feeding diary with notes regarding when symptoms occur in order to determine what baby is taking from you, as well as if there is a correlation . Usually, diagnosis is confirmed in one appointment and blood tests are rarely taken without baby sufferers from 'instant' reactions such as swilling, wheezing or rashes on contact with milk.

The advice given to breastfeeding mothers is usually to continue with breast milk due to its immense benefits to the infant, particularly during the first six months where it should be a child's sole source of nutrition. However, you will need to adjust your own diet in order to reduce the amount of cows' milk protein that you consume. Products containing milk in any form should be avoided, and substituted where possible. Cows' milk protein can be quite sneaky and goes by many different names, including casein, whey, betalactoglobulin, whole milk, milk powder, skimmed milk, and hydrolysed whey protein. Your dietician may be able to provide you with a full list.

Typically, this is sufficient to manage the problem until weaning age. However, sometimes babies can be very sensitive and may need to swap onto an advanced medical nutrition supplement in the form of specialist formula milk. If you are concerned your dietary changes are not controlling your child's allergy, consult with the dietician.

Weaning is an exciting time, and just because your child can not have milk does not mean they are limited to boring foods. Opt for simple purees which consist sole of fruit, vegetables or a mixture of both in the beginning, introducing one new flavor at a time. When introducing new foods, as you would with any child, you should keep an eye out for a reaction. It might be a good idea to keep a food diary initially. Sometimes, children with one allergy can have multiple that you will discover as time passes.

Once you have tried out a few different foods, you can try little meals or combinations of foods. Many of the meals you can buy in pouches or jars are suitable for children with milk allergy, but you should always check the ingredients before feeding anything to your child. Have a look online for dairy free recipes and try making some of your own delicious baby foods. If recipes do require you do use milk, use expressed breast milk where you can.

When they reach one year of age, it is common for your doctor or dietician to encourage you to reintroduce milk into their diet. This can be done either at home (in the case of less severe reactions) or as a challenge in a supervised environment like a hospital (usually for the more severe reactions. some may have the problem for life.

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Utilizing Naturopathic Medicine to Treat Your Seasonal Allergies

One of the most challenging times of year for many people is hay fever or allergy season. From childhood through adulthood, the number of allergy sufferers is staggering and on the increase year after year.

Common allergy symptoms include itchy, watery, red eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and fatigue. For some, these symptoms are quite mild, however, if they are more severe, it can make getting through this time of year extremely challenging.

The most intense symptoms commonly occur in the early spring and late summer / fall. Tree and flower pollens are the main spring culprits, while ragweed plays a major role in the fall. Grasses of all kinds can also wreak havoc for sensitive individuals through the summer.

However, many people may also be reacting to outdoor molds, dusts, animal dander, and other particulates in the air, without even realizing it. With smog and pollution on the increase, there is no shortage of air particles to react to.

How do we deal with this?

Using conventional methods – allergy shots, antihistamines, and other prescription or over-the-counter preparations, these symptoms can be effectively subdued. However, more and more people no longer want to use drugs, and are searching for more natural approaches for their health concerns.

These types of allergic responses are related to an overreaction of the immune system, mistaking other harmless substances as a threat to the body. A major part of the immune system is associated with the digestive tract, so it is important to start to repair the digestive issues. Naturopathic medicine excels at treating the gut.

There may also be emotional issues involved in allergy. Early traumas or fears, for example, may be associated with the development and triggering of allergic responses. Sometimes, it may be necessary to deal with some of these emotional aspects for optimal relief and healing.

There are also many natural substances and nutrients which can act as antihistamines, without the additional stress of adding chemicals to the body. Herbal and homeopathic remedies can quickly bring relief, and strengthen the body to minimize future allergic reactions.

Energetic therapies can effectively neutralize symptoms or desensitize allergic responses. They can decrease the impact of plant and pollen stresses on the body, to help bring the body's response into balance.

A combination of these gentle and needle-free natural therapies and treatments can help your body feel normal again, and make dreading spring and fall allergy season a thing of the past.

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The World According To GMOs!

Could these be contributing to your allergies?

Quote of the month:
“I will not eat this chemical s # @ t.
I will not put my fork in it.
I will not eat it in the day.
I will not eat it any way.
I will not eat it in the night.
I will not eat A SINGLE BITE! “- The People's Boycott Pledge

Do you eat any of the following:
Wheat
Corn
Soy
Canola
Other Fruits and Vegetables

What exactly are GMOs?

Genetically Modified Organisms are created by taking genes from an organism (plant, animal, bacteria or virus) and inserting them into an unrelated organism. In order for a cell to accept another organism's cell, they must enlist the help of a bacteria or virus. A cell will only accept another organism's gene when it has a virus / bacteria; otherwise, it is rejected. GMO's would never occur in nature, and can cause huge environmental risks.

At least 70% of the grocery stores processed food contains Genetically Modified Organisms and food companies are not required to label that the foods are made with GMO's. The only way to know you are not eating Genetically Engineered food is to eat 100% organic food. Any GMO's are prohibited in organic food. Foods that are most commonly genetically modified are corn, soy, wheat, canola and cotton; but there are more.

Here's a very simplified example of how GMOs are made:
Roundup is a product used to destroy weeds and any other undesirable plants. It works by blocking a specific enzyme that is necessary for the plant to grow, thereby killing the plant. Using wheat as an example, if a wheat field is sprayed with Roundup, the wheat would die as well as the other undesirables. In order to prevent this, they take the DNA of the Roundup and inject it into the DNA of the wheat using a bacteria / virus (such as the cauliflower mosaic virus). So, now when the wheat is growing and roundup is sprayed, the wheat is resistant to the roundup and will no longer die. It sounds great, except for the fact that now we are in essence ingesting a modified version of Roundup and some version of the virus. This process is the same for corn, soy, canola, etc. This is what's known as Roundup Ready seed! The problem also becomes larger as the seed is cross contaminating other non-modified seeds! It makes you wonder why people are having more issues with foods and why we are becoming more toxic!

How to tell what's GMO
Most fruits and vegetables are labeled and you can generally tell which are GMO and which are not. If the fruits or veggies have a sticker on it check it to see if there is a 4 or 5 digit number. If it is a 4 digit number it is conventionally grown; if there is a 5 digit number beginning with an 9 it's organic, and if it is 5 digits beginning with an 8 it is GMO. Remember however, they are NOT required to label GMO's, so a 4 digit number may still be GMO!

Genetically modified organisms tend to provoke allergies and lots of other health issues!

Did You Know?
They've found a loophole which Monsanto and other biotech companies will be using in their favor in order to introduce GMO foods into Europe – Europe had previously banned GMO's.
Alfalfa is the newest GMO target
They're looking at introducing GM trees and salmon!
Natural and Organic are NOT the same thing!
GMO and GE (genetically engineered) are the same thing

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6 Tips To Help Reduce Your Reaction To Seasonal Allergies

Lets face it, those that have allergies dread this time of year; the constant runny nose and eyes, scratchy throat, and cold like symptoms can be quite severe for some. Natural ways of dealing with allergies are available if you are not wanting to take medications to deal with your signs and symptoms. So here are a few tips that might make allergy season a little more tolerable.

  1. Try to avoid being outside for long periods of time especially between the hours of 5am and 10am, as well as in the early afternoon and evening. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.
  2. Shower after you are outside to wash off anything that has stuck to you or your clothing that may cause a reaction
  3. Get a good quality air purifier
  4. Cut back on foods that can increase inflammation within the body (dairy products and refined sugar) also drink lots of water to assist in decreasing this inflammation.
  5. Try a cold compress to help decrease the swilling and irritation to puffy eyes.
  6. Use local raw honey because it is made from the local flowers you may be reacting to. It will help to boost the immune system and potentially reduce your reaction.

If none of these tips seem to work and you want to manage your allergies naturally, please see your local Accunect Practitioner , Naturopath, or Homeopath. They will be able to get down to the root cause of your allergies and help to balance out your body so that you will not react a strongly to seasonal allergies.

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I Don’t Have A Weight Problem, So Why Do You?

Being thin is easy. Why, you may ask? It's easy because once you realize that human beings (at least 90%) are allergic to wheat, and you eliminate wheat from your diet, that's half the problem solved. Your pets are allergic to wheat also, but that's a different article. Do not eat pastas, cereals, breads, biscuits, etc., etc., and if you have to eat these things, make sure they are gluten-free. Repeat after me, I am allergic to wheat. So, I know you are wondering now about that food pyramid the USDA puts out every now and again. The one that has you eating a whole lot of bread, cheese, meat, and pastas. Do not believe it for one second. Have you ever thought that maybe they want you fat? Maybe they want to keep you ill and visiting the allergy clinics? Well, maybe not, but that pyramid is crazy wrong. If you follow that food pyramid, you most definitely will have a weight problem. So, just to add, eliminate dairy products from your diet also. You are allergic to them also.

Second, do not complicate things. People have a way of complicating matters. Eat one-ingredient meals. What is a one-ingredient meal? A one-ingredient meal is a banana, an orange, an apple, grapes, mangoes, soursop (great for fighting cancer), and any in season fruit you can get your hands on. Eat as many of them as you want (only, please do not combine them). Eat cucumbers, squash, sweet potatoes – eat as much fruits and vegetables as your little heart desires.

Third, and this is the clincher! Sugar is a poison. Eliminate sugar from your diet and do not substitute sugar with substitute sugars – not even the health food kinds. Just do not do it. Get rid of your sweet tooth (your teeth would love that) and if you cave in, what do you do, eat a banana or an apple.

The combination of rice and peas makes for a good protein based meal. It's filling and delicious. Add your onions, hot peppers (yes, the hotter the better – your stomach will love you for it) and garlic (or any other seasonings you find out there in your garden, but let's pretend, shall we] that's fresh and right off the stems). The fresher your seasonings are the better for the taste of your food. If you are eating simple, the least you can do for yourself is make the food explode in your mouth with taste and aroma. Visit your supermarket regularly to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables. Cook them under low heat. Use little salt.

So, stop complicating matters. We do not need much of anything to live a good, long, productive and happy life. Eat simple and have a simply beautiful, thin body. No need for the gym (so you are saving money there). No need for the diet doctors (so you can strip down at any time and put on that slinky bathing suit and romp on the beach). When you think about your body and weight, just think simple.

So, if you can only remember that wheat, and diary products and sugar are poisonous – you've got to get there in your minds – those products are not good for you, then you know that you will have to eliminate them from your diet.

Nothing is easy, and especially if you were raised in a family that ate all that poisonous stuff. You are accredited to it, and it is accredited to you. It will fight you tooth and nail if you deny them residence in your body. They want to keep their presence there. But recognize them as invaders and get rid of them. One step at a time. Everything in moderation. Have faith in yourself. Rely on yourself. Do this for yourself.

Good luck!

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Are Natural Antihistamines Effective?

The pollen count this year has been astronomically high, causing allergic flare-ups from coast-to-coast. Dust and pollen are being breathed in abundance, antigonizing and triggering the human body's defensive production of histamine. Histamine is a naturally produced chemical that attacks and destroys invading substances that it perceives to be bacteria or allergens, like dust and pollen.

And though the production of histamine is there to protect you, the body can over-produce it. Too much histamine causes some inflammation in the nasal and sinus cavities, leading to allergic reactions like sneezing, runny noses, congestion and itchy eyes, sending people running to drug stores for relief. They want an effective histamine blocker to stop their allergy symptoms. They want an antihistimine.

Should not you be using natural antihistamines?

As you know, there are actually dozens of antihistamines on the market, all claiming that their is the best product out there. Two market leaders, Claritin and Benadryl, make millions on their corresponding antihistamine products, and they certainly work to an extent. But there are many side effects to these manmade products that you should be aware of.

For instance, the main active ingredient in Claritin is loratadine, and as shown in studies, it can be linked to jaundice, seizures, heart palpitations, drowsiness, headache, blurred vision and headache. The main active ingredient in Benadryl is diphenhydramine hydrochloride and the list of side effects is just as long, and just as daunting. Obviously, these antihistamines work for the majority of users, because they are successful commercial brands. But what if you are one of the people who has a negative reaction to loratadine or diphenhydramine hydrochloride?

Time to consider using natural antihistamines

If taking manmade medicines with long, unpronounceable names is not your thing, consider a more natural and healthy approach to taming your allergies. Many natural foods contain natural antihistimines, and are plentiful. True, that natural antihistamines take longer to build up in your system, and longer to be effective, but they can safely reduce the frequency and the severity of allergy attacks by blocking histamines and strengthening your immune system.

Vitamin C is not only a well-known antioxidant, but it is known to boost your immune system and is believed to reduce the body's susceptibility to allergens. Flavonoids work as natural antihistimines and are found in citrus, leafy veggies, apples and fruits. What if you could take a vitamin C supplement with flavonoids? Think that would help you fight allergies?

Absolutely. Because that's the combo that cured my 'springtime-allergic-to-everything' mode fifteen years ago. Year after year, I'd go through a couple boxes of Alka-Seltzer Plus every spring, just to stop sneezing for a few hours. Then, totally by accident, I found natural antihistamines in a '1000 mg Vitamin C with Flavonoids' supplement during the cold / flu season of February 1995. Was taken to C fight cold, but then realized in May that my sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes had not started, and were gone! Measuring time, it probably took two months for the C and flavonoid combo to entrench in the body. But it worked and is still working … honestly have not had a box of Alka-Seltzer in the house in years.

Natural antihistamines are numerous and available

If the contents of over-the-counter drugs scare you (and they should) you should be considering a more natural approach to curing your allergies. Did you know that a little salt is a natural antihistamine? So are grape seed extracts, raspberries, chili peppers, black tea, green tea, broccoli, red onions and bottles of red wine. This list could go on and on, but the point is, you do not need a little pill from an over-the-counter drug manufacturer to alleviate your allergies. You can find natural antihistamines in your supermarket, or in a condensed capsule form at a health food store.

Now, keep in mind, when choosing natural antihistamines, that you and every other individual will react differently to different foods. If you're allergic to a certain food, then avoid that food as a source of antihistamine. But with so many natural antihistamines available, you will certainly be able to find one that works on your allergies in a much safer, natural way.

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Why Is There A Peanut Allergy?

There have been increasing allergies of not only peanuts but other allergens as well, up to twenty percent by some estimates. Peanut and food allergies in general have been rising steadily but a lot of people really do not know why. Many parents say that they do not remember having food allergies when they were a kid why does my child have a problem? Some theories are that peanuts are more widely used nowdays which is just effecting more people since more people are now exposed to them. My theory is a simple one for the most part is that we are a cleaner society today versus thirty years ago, we're prescribe antibiotics at the highest rate ever, we are obsessed with killing germs from chemical cleaners to hand wipes and sanitizers. It may not be a good idea to be clean!

What is wrong with being dirty? Well I can tell you this, being dirty, and I use being dirty in the term of not over-indulging in cleaners, allows bacteria to be present which is going to make your immune system stronger and more on point to actual threats to your body . The immune system works like a well oiled machine, it ranks threats from most serious to less serious. When there are no serious threats to the immune system, meaning antibiotics or over cleaning killed them, it will look for the next threat in the chain which happens to be a food or peanuts in this case. The immune system only needs to see peanuts as a threat once to continue to label it a threat for a long time, the immune system has memory and will continue to have a greater and quicker response after multiple exposures. Since there are fewer threats to the immune system it picks an environmental factor or something in the diet to attack, this is called the hygiene hypothesis.

So how do I know if my child has a peanut allergy and what can I do? If you suspect your child has a peanut allergy look for symptoms such as redness or itching around the mouth and face, possible swelling of the throat and tongue, problems breathing, abdominal pain, and vomiting. If a child has difficulty breathing they should be taken to the hospital immediately. How do you prevent a peanut or food allergy? Well this is a little dicey, nobody really knows but in my opinion and what I did with my child is not to coddle them with cleanliness. I did not wash her hands every hour, if food fell on the floor it was fine to eat. She was free to play outside in the dirt and was allowed to put her toys in her mouth. In other words she was allowed to be a kid and do kid things, we all did it and most of us have strong immune systems to thank for it. Remember being dirty will bring you wellness.

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Allergies Suck: Natural Remedies For Season Allergies

It seems that winter has finally given way to spring, after some major late season snow (at least in our neighborhood). We're all grateful for the warm weather, but along with the sun comes seasonal allergies. Fortunately, herbalism has many wonderful options for relieving allergies and sinus problems and supporting the immune system – teas, tinctures, capsules, sinus sprays, aromatherapy oils, and bee pollen all offer the possibility of comfort and relief

Astragalus and Echinacea are excellent herbs the to boost the immune system, making the body more resistant to allergens. Mullein is an expectorant, clearing mucus from the sinuses and helping the body to expel it. Burdock root purifies the blood, detoxifying the body from allergens. Nettles contain a natural antihistamine, as well as being an excellent nutritive. Slippery elm coats and soothes the sinuses and throat. Peppermint helps with the flavor, as well as being refreshing and comforting.

Another excellent herb is osha root. Osha can be brewed into tea, or simply chewed on. It is a bronchodilator, anti-viral and an expectorant. Osha root is a member of the celery family, and has a very earthy taste – which can be described as a combination of old celery, dirt, and peppercorn. Some find it very unpleasant, others get used to it and sometimes learn to enjoy it.If you would rather attack the problem directly for immediate relief, you have a few different options. I highly recommend the neti pot, which is a ceramic pot that is filled with salt water, used to flush out the sinuses. You can add a very small amount of a Sinus Snuff blend to kick it up several notches – a good blend for a snuff might include Goldenseal powder, garlic, cayenne pepper, and bayberry. This very spicy blend provides you with powerful antimicrobials and can also soothe dry sinuses. If you prefer a gentler method, you could add essential oils of thyme, eucalyptus and lavender to boiling water and breathe the steam. These oils open the sinuses and have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

As far as capsules go, you can use any combination of herbs mentioned in these formulas. I would definitely recommend nettles, Astragalus, and burdock root. Butterbur is another excellent option.

In addition to herbs, bee pollen from your area will be more effective. If you have never used bee pollen before, you should start with very small doses – one or two granules a day should do it – and double your dose each day for about a week. Not only will you get relief from allergies, but bee pollen is also said to be a super food, increase endurance and athletic ability, and treat asthma and stomach problems. Other bee products such as honey can be beneficial as well, Bee products must be local to be effective for allergies.

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Seasonal Allergy

It's that time of year again: the days are getting longer, the flowers are blooming, and we can trade our winter coats for light jackets. Most of us consider the arrival of Spring a cause for celebration, but if you're one of the fifty million people suffering from seasonal allergies, you probably are not jumping for joy.

One of the most frustrating things about seasonal allergies is determining the cause. Is it pollen? Is it climate, temperature, or atmospheric change? Is it gluten, which seems to be to blame for so many disorders today? Everyone wants to know why there are experiencing the watery eyes, runny nose, headaches, itchy skin, stuffiness, or congestion every Spring. These symptoms are collectively known as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever.

There are several causes for these allergies, and some of them may surprise you:

Infection

Heredity

Malabsorption disorders

Hormonal deficiencies

Post Trauma

Radiation stress

Emotional event

Vaccination additives

Weak immune system

Over-exposure to allergens

Candida

Chemicals such as GMOs, food additives, and pesticides

Whatever causes an individual to become sensitive to pollen, the question remains, what can be done about it? While a pollen allergy, by itself, is usually easy to eliminate, allergic rhinitis typically encompasses allergic reactions to several environmental triggers, such as mold, trees and some foods, that may require more extensive treatment.

There are a few different ways to alleviate the symptoms of hay fever, the most common of which is to take medicines such as Claritin or Zyrtec. In the past, a physician had to prescribe these medications; however, these days they are available over-the-counter. If you are satisfied with managing your symptoms, these meds can help; however, I strongly suggest that before taking them you research their side effects.

If symptoms are severe, most allergists will recommend shots once a week for one to two years, followed by maintenance injections once a month for two to three years. This is the guideline procedure set forth by the American Academy of Family Physicians. But what, you may be wondering, are in these allergy shots? Allergy shots contain small amounts of the things that you are allergic to, or allergens. The dose of allergens starts very low and is slowly increased over the course of the treatment. If this method sounds counterintuitive to you, you're not alone. After all, if a patient were allergic to cockroaches, would you suggest injecting them with little bits of cockroach?

The latest approach to environmental allergies is sublingual drops. First, a scratch test is done to establish what the person is allergic to, whether it's trees, grasses, molds, and pollens. Then he or she is given liquid drops to take daily for approximately one year. This reduces office visits, but the success rate is not clear. It is also expensive, and therefore best suited to patients with very good medical coverage.

Another method-and my personal preference – is natural allergy elimination. This safe, very gentle technique reprograms the body in about four months, with no side-effects. I like it because, unlike the other treatments, it gets to the root cause, rather just managing symptoms, and it has been clinically proven to work.

In my practice, I have seen patients whose allergies are triggered by a wide range of allergens. Sometimes the hay fever is initiated by a virus; sometimes it's triggered after the patient moves to an area with a higher concentration of pollen than they are used to. Still other patients are experiencing a malfunction of their autonomic nervous system that affects their tolerance to pollen. I have been successful eliminating seasonal allergies – or hay fever – for my patients, regardless of the undercoming cause. Like with any ailment, there were a few individuals who were not completely cured because I could not identify an underlining genetic component. However, I do have a 90% success rate in eliminating hay fever. One of my patients had been receiving allergy shots for twenty-five years, with little relief. Yet in just three office visits, I was able to eliminate her symptoms by treating her emotionally. Of course, everyone is different and the approach has to be individualized. I also can determine very quickly if a case is beyond my ability.

There are currently 10,000 holistic practitioners that utilize natural allergy elimination techniques. Over the past decade, they have helped several hundred thousand patients completely cure their seasonal allergies. Are you sick of dreading Spring? Find a good and experienced holy practiceer!

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Sneeze-Free Gardening: Tips for Gardening With Summer Allergies

In addition to my suggestions below, it is recommended that you see your personal physician regarding other preventive measures and / or medicines you can take to make your garden experience more enjoyable.

In selecting the plants for your garden, lean toward light-spotted, bird-and-insect contaminated plants versus wind-pollinated plants and use only low-allergy plants in your garden. Bulbs are very good for allergy sufferers.

For a lawn, choose low pollen producing grass that does not need to be mowed often. Keep grass short so it does not seed and since most lawn grasses release their pollen from around 3:00 am to 8:00 am, it is not a good idea to mow the lawn in the morning.

The days when the pollen count is at its lowest are the best days to garden. For example, on cool, rainy or damp days when airborne pollen is low, or early morning while there is still dew on the ground. Chilly and wet is good weather for us, unless you are particularly allergic to mold. On windy days it is best to stay indoors. This is the worst time outdoors for an allergy sufferer as this is when there is the most pollen in the air.

When out gardening wear long sleeves, a breathable hat, goggles (or sun glasses) and gloves. Take frequent breaks to wash your face and hands.

Before gardening in an area next to grass, wet the grass down first with a hose to keep allergens from rising into the air. After gardening wash all clothes and hair and be sure to wash your hair before bed so you do not get pollen on your pillow. Also, wear the same gardening clothes each time you garden and throw them in the washing machine after use.

Avoid standing under flowering trees and also try to avoid cut grass. When the lawn is being cut, close all windows and use air purifiers. In addition, avoid shady areas on the south side of the house if you have a mold allergy.

If, like me, you bring some plants in to winter indoors at the end of the season, be sure to wash the pollen off of them immediately before bringing them in. Then see if you can leave the mulching to someone else, but if you do use mulch, considering avoiding the mold from bark mulches and use an inorganic source such as rock, pea gravel or crushed mulch and low maintenance ground covers to help control weeds which are wind pollinated plants that produce a lot of powdery, easily inhaled pollen that can trigger a response.

For information about plants rated for allergies and general information about gardening with allergies, visit http://www.allergyfree-gardening.com . Here is to your most sneeze free gardening season yet!

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Is It Allergies Or a Chronic Sinus Infection?

For many people, the two most vibrant and colorful seasons, spring and fall, also bring a myriad of symptoms. Congestion, fatigue, sore throats, clogged ears, irritability and even coughing are constant companions. But do these symptoms stem from a cold or allergies or a chronic sinus infection? Some basic understanding of the difference between the two and a trip to the doctor can often point to the right culprit and its proper remedy for relief.

Colds, allergies and sinus infections all have similar symptoms, as detailed above. However, there are certain diagnosis specific symptoms for each. For example, the common cold is often characterized by aches, runny nose, itchy throat and watery eyes and a low grade fever. Seasonal or environmental allergies will have these symptoms as well, but without the fever. A sinus infection will also share these symptoms along with tenderness around the eyes, nose, jaw and even in the teeth and sufferers may report thick yellow-green mucus and drain down the throat.

For those experiencing symptoms that are more in line with those of a sinus infection, reaching out to a trusted medical professional or family doctor is in order. These infections may be acute, or temporary, often the result of a cold, and treated relatively quickly as prescribed a medical professional. For some, the infections seem to linger, symptoms do not resolve or improve and if they last longer than 12 weeks, the doctor may make a diagnosis of a chronic sinus infection. The possible causes of a chronic sinus infection may range from polyps in the sinus or nasal cavities, a deviated septum, allergies, respiratory infections or other medical conditions.

When seeking the advice and treatment from a trusted medical professional, it is important to remember to treat not just the infections, but whatever may be causing the chronic sinus infection. Along with treating the infection and its cause, often the doctor will review options to provide relief from the various sinus symptoms until the infection is cleared. Typically the most common relief suggestions are to help alleviate the pressure, reducing congestion during sleep and to protect the nasal passages and cavities. Treatment and relief protocols may include antibiotics, over the counter medication, home remedies, immunotherapy, or biopuncture.

Sufferers of chronic sinus infections may find that it takes a bit of time and treatment options before finding the ideal course of action to address both the infection and the undercoming cause. Many doctors and patients find a combination of treatments is the most effective route. Understanding the cause of the chronic infections also helps to create a treatment plan that quickly reduces the pain and remedies the infection. When dealing with chronic sinusitis, a holistic approach is often best for diagnosis and treatment.

For those who believe that the cough, congestion or sinus pressure that will not go away is in fact a chronic infection, it is important to seek the care of a trusted medical professional. Likewise, if over the counter medications are not helping and have been taken past the recommended time frame, call a doctor immediately. Remember to address any and all suspected related symptoms to ensure a holistic approach to treatment and lifestyle recommendations.

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The Difference Between an Allergy, Intolerance, and Sensitivity

Many of us think we suffer from symptoms of food allergies – but in some cases, we do not actually have an allergy but a sensitivity or intolerance. We often hear these words thrown around, such as lactose-intolerance or gluten sensitivity, but let's explore the difference between these three responses to food: allergy, sensitivity, and intolerance.

Once we understand the difference between these three types of problematic reactions to food, then we can look at how to test for food allergies. How may the ALCAT test, for example, help identify common food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances?

What's an allergy?

An allergy is the propensity in the body of an otherwise healthy person to have an adverse reaction – releasing histamine and other chemicals – via IgE-primed mast cells, when a substance (allergen) is sensed that is not typically dangerous to the body.

Symptoms of food allergies can include such responses as anaphylaxis, rash or hives, shortness of breath, or nausea. According to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the eight most common food allergies “account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions: milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.”

What's an intolerance?

Intolerance is the inability of the body to digest a certain food because the person's body does not possess the enzymes required to process the food. In the case of milk, for instance, often people are not technically allergic to dairy but are lactose-intolerant, meaning they can not break down that component of milk. Usually lactose is consumed by bacteria in the large intestine, but this is not proper digestion and results in pain, bloating, gas, and other symptoms.

What's a sensitivity?

A food sensitivity is the least medically understood of the three types of reactions. A sensitivity is a more unpredictable physical reaction to a certain food. The IFT states that sensitivity reactions are often sporadic and inconsistent – confusing medical scientists. Above all, sensitivities can not, by definition, involve IgE-primed mast cells; indicators of allergies.

How to test for food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities

A medical test such as an ALCAT test can help determine what types of food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities an individual might have. Cell Science Systems is the corporation behind the ALCAT test, which according to the Alcat company website has been available for over 25 years and tests for 350+ herbs, chemicals, and foods.

Reducing pain associated with foods

Many people experiencing chronic pain are unaware that their pain is in whole or part diet-induced. Here is an overview of our pain management diet recommendations regarding pain produced through food choices, as well as a number of supplements that can help. If you are in pain, we can provide guidance on nutrition, along with integrative therapy solutions to manage your pain and help you enjoy a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

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Some Simple Way to Avoid Getting Allergies

It was a team of French scientists that first developed antihistamines way back in the 1930's. Using antihistamines is the least expensive and is the most commonly used treatment when it comes to fighting off an allergy.

It was first thought that the antihistamine would block the release of histamine, but it was found out later that this is not true. What happens is that the antihistamine blocks the reaction of the histamine when it comes in contact with the tissue.

What happens is that the antihistamine helps dry up any excess substances that causes watery, itchy eyes and a running nose so that these symptoms are no more or less othersome. However, these are not cures for those who do suffer from allergies.

The most ideal way to avoid getting allergies is to completely stay away for those substances that trigger your allergy. As easy as that sound, it is almost totally impossible to actually do that for the rest of your life. Some time or another, you will come in contact with something that will trigger your allergies, that's pretty much guaranteed.

Some people do not like taking an antihistamine for the simple fact that most cause drowsiness, it may give problems with urinating with men who have an enlarged prostate, and it may also aggravate your glaucoma as well. Some people may go as far as to say that antihistamines do more harm than good in the long run.

There was a time when the FAA would not allow people with allergies to work as a pilot for fear that their medication or the allergy itself would interfere in the pilot's performance.

Asthma Sufferers

There is nothing scarier than having an attack and not being able to do anything about it. During an asthma attack what happens is that the air passage to the lungs becomes narrowed and breathing starts to be rather difficult. With a bronchodilator this will relax the bronchial muscles and will allow air to pass once again. Those who suffer from this only get relief for about three to six hours before they are able to have another asthma attack.

Natural Remedies

People are getting interested in natural remedies when it comes to allergies and asthmatic sufferers. Treatments like acupuncture and acupressure, as well as reflexology are believed to strengthen your natural defenses against such attacks.

Acupuncture has been around for longer than 2,000 years and is still widely practiced throughout China where it was first discovered. Acupuncture is believed to create a smooth, vital flow of positive energy through the body.

Acupressure, almost similar to acupuncture, balances the flow of vital flow of positive energy. Instead of using needles like in acupuncture, acupressure is the practice of putting pressure on certain points of the body using just the hands.

Reflexology is a serious science that principals itself that with every organ in the human body, there is a reflex point in the point connected to it. Stimulating these reflex points is believed to help with health problems.

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Relieve Your Seasonal Allergies With Acupuncture

The cold and flu season is winding down and that means you'll be in the clear for a while from sniffling, sneezing, and congestion. Not so fast! If you're one of the millions of seasonal allergy sufferers, your sneezing, sniffling and congestion days are far from over. Spring is a time of budding flowers and blooming trees and for allergy sufferers it's also a time to be plagued by uncomfortable symptoms. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is an allergic response to outdoor allergens such as tree pollen, weeds and grasses.

In allergies, airborne pollen enters the body through the eyes, nose, or throat, and triggers an allergic reaction. Normally, the immune system does not respond to mild substances like pollen. But in sensitive individuals, the body's defense mechanism views these allergens as it would be an infectious agent and mounts an attack. Once the immune system has detected the “invader,” it unleashes a slew of chemicals such as histamine resulting in inflammation that leads to discomfort and irritation.

While antihistamines and decongestants are the usual course of treatment for seasonal allergies, a new study published in February in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that acupuncture can also relieve some symptoms. Acupuncture is a treatment in which tiny needles are inserted just under the skin at specific points in the body as to reduce certain symptoms. In the case of allergies, acupuncture can bring relief to allergy sufferers.

The study, of 422 people with grass and pollen allergies, found that those randomly assigned to a dozen acupuncture sessions fared better than patients who did not receive the procedure. On average, they reported greater symptom improvements and were able to use less antihistamine medication over eight weeks.

Acupuncture is an alternative for patients who are not satisfied with allergy medication – either because it's not working or because of the side effects.

In addition to using acupuncture to treat your allergy symptoms, the following are preventative strategies you can take to naturally avoid allergy triggers.

Stay indoors on dry, windy days – the best time to go outside is after a soaking rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.

Visit The National Allergy Bureau's website (Aaaai.org) for a daily ranking of allergens, including seasonal tree pollens, grasses, weeds, and outdoor molds. Stay indoors when levels are high or very high for those that you're sensitive to.

Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.

Wear a dust mask if you do outside chores.

Remove clothes you've worn outside; you may also want to shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.

Do not hang laundry outside – pollen can stick to sheets and towels.

Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.

Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

Schedule a consultation with our doctor to learn if acupuncture is right for you and how it can relate to your seasonal allergy symptoms.

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Allergies and Allergy Relief

Allergies can pretty much come from anywhere. From animal dander to cleaning products; fresh cut grass to cigarette smoke. The most common allergens are pollen, dust and mold. If you have an allergy, you know firsthand at how uncomfortable and miserable you feel. Even minor allergy attacks can be discomforting.

Those who suffer from allergies, no matter how serious experience similar effects. Such as watery eyes, an itchy throat, a running nose and sneezing continuously. Although these symptoms are bothersome and inconvenient, you are no immediate danger. However, those who suffer from severe allergies experience symptoms on a more dangerous level.

There are people who have such severe allergies that they will need medical attention as soon as possible. For an example, people who are allergic to bee stains usually begin to swell if they happen to accidentally get stung. The swinging begin with the tongue and lips by a slight tingling sensation inside the mouth. The eyes begin to itch and then they too, will start to swell. Soon, the eyelids will swell to the point where the person may not even be able to see where they are going and making it impossible to take themselves somewhere to receive the proper medical attention. Some attacks have been known to go on for hours – even weeks.

Myths about Asthma

Asthma is a real disease. It is taken as serious as arthritis, diabetes, depression, etc. and is considered to the medical community as a physical illness, not an emotional one. However, stress has been known to trigger an asthma attack or even make a current asthma attack even more serious.

People who are asthmatic and are taking prescribed medications depend on their prescriptions. These medications are not addictive. Over-the-counter medications are not as effective as prescribed medications, but may temporarily relieve the symptoms until proper medical aid can be administrated.

Very few doctors and pharmacists recommend the use of over-the-counter medications to help treat asthmatic suffers. They warn that these types of medications do not treat the undering process that can potentially cause permanent damage to the lungs and that the side effects from taking these medicines can be just as dangerous. It's been estimated that approximately 5,000 people will die this year because of an asthma attack.

A century ago, it was believed that mixtures of cocaine, morphine and alcohol would lend an asthmatic attack.

Do not let an Allergy Slow you down

If you have allergies, do not be wary about stepping outside. Without complaint by a doctor, a little mind-over-matter might come in handy. Strengthen your immune system by going for walks, exercising; just staying active can do nothing but help build your immunity against these allergies. The next time an allergy attack is brought on; it will not be as severe.

Understanding your allergies and other asthmatic problems is the first step, if not cure the problem, at least help solve it. Asking your doctor questions, or going to your local library is an excellent way to receive the information you need.

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