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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Allergy Season

Foods Not to Sneeze At During Allergy Season

woman with a clothespin on her nose to stop allergens
Oh joy, you survived cold and flu season only to get knocked on your fanny by seasonal allergies. Spring started with tree pollen and mold and is joyfully rolling into summer with grass and ragweed allergens.

Most of us turn to our medicine cabinets to help alleviate those runny noses, red, itchy eyes and sneezing.  Who would have thought turning to the kitchen might be beneficial as well?  There may not be a cure for your allergies but these simple foods might just bring you some added relief.

An apple a day…

Yup, not only does it keep the doctor away but it also works to relieve your allergy symptoms.  The peel, which is rich in quercetin, works as both an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory.   Allergies occur when our bodies mistake the protein from pollens and molds as bad guys and our immune system gets trigger happy, shooting off histamines.  This natural compound causes in increase in mucus to help flush out the unwanted attackers.  Quercetin stops the immune cells from releasing histamines, which in turns helps to reduce allergy symptoms.

Other fruits and vegetables with high levels of quercetin are leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and broccoli.

Go fishing…

Allergies bring about inflammation in the sinus cavity, throat and eyes.  Making sure you get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids will go a long way toward controlling the inflammation.  Unfortunately, most of our diets are rich in omega-6 fatty acids that are found in mayo, corn oil, certain nuts, fried foods and bakery cakes.  All of these foods have been known to cause systemic inflammation.   If you suffer from allergies that is the last thing you want!

Two of the best fish to eat are albacore tuna and salmon.  Work these fish into your diet two to three times a week.   You will notice a difference in your allergy symptoms.

Ah, nuts…

Nuts like flax seeds, hemp seeds, butternuts, walnuts and macadamia are packed with allergy fighting, immune boosting power.  These nuts and seeds are high in antioxidants and super foods for tackling seasonal allergies.

Studies have found that people who practice the Mediterranean diet of fish, fresh produce, olive oil and nuts are less likely to suffer allergies.  Other benefits from eating this type of diet are an empowered immune systems and protection against free radicals. 

Oh say can you C…

Vitamin C is another great way to treat allergy symptoms.  Foods rich in vitamin C like bell peppers, red peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi and citrus are natural anti-histamines that can reduce swelling and inflammation.  Vitamin C is also another optimal way to boost your immune system. 

Finding relief from seasonal allergies can be the difference between enjoying the warmer weather and dreading the changing seasons, so try one of these remedies today!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Allergies 101

Allergies 101 - all you need to know.

kids playing outdoors

As a child, during the summer we played outside from dusk until dinner was announce and boy, you had better high-tail it for home when you heard the clanging of the bell.  Now a days, you never see kids outside riding bikes or playing ball in the empty lot or for that matter, adults.  Our parents were always on the front porch or working on outdoor projects. 

Are allergies to blame?  It is reported that more than 50 million people suffer from pollen and mold.

Why so many people?

Allergies are the result of your immune system thinking the harmless proteins found in mold and pollen are the bad guys.  While the immune system’s job is to track down and defend our bodies from harmful substances, it gets a little mixed up where pollen is concerned.  When the immune system is triggered by outside allergens, it releases antibodies which move through the blood.  These antibodies tell our cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream, including histamine.  Histamine is what causes your worst allergy symptoms such as a runny nose and sneezing.

Scientist are still trying to work out why some of us react this way to allergens and why some of us don’t.  But whatever the reason, allergies are on the rise. 

What triggers common allergies?

Not the pollen.  It is one or more of the proteins in the pollen.  Just like when people say that they are allergic to cats, that’s not really true.  What is setting off your sneezing and swollen eyes is the protein in the cat’s saliva.  When the cat cleans its fur it transfer the protein to its hair and dander.  It is the same thing for the proteins found in molds and dust mites.

Are there other things I could be allergic too?

Absolutely, the list is endless from latex to leather to perfumes to cleaning chemicals. 

If you think you have allergies your best course of action is to get tested by a doctor.

And the doctor will find a cure?

No, there is no cure for allergies.  But…there are ways to help alleviate your symptoms. 

Here is another idea for you. Instead of trotting down to your local drug store for over the counter medicines or an allergy shot from your doctor, stay home and simply put allergy drops under your tongue!

Sublingual Immunotherapy is a big phrase that simply means:“Sublingual” – Drops under the tongue
“Immunotherapy” – Uses the body’s natural abilities to stimulate or restore a healthy immune system response to fight infection and disease, similar to the way allergy shots work.

It used to be that allergy shots were the best available treatments for hay fever, other allergies, and asthma, but they’re literally a pain to get! Not to mention the cost and inconvenience of traveling to to and from your health care clinic.

A fairly recent review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says allergy drops are fairly effective in reducing asthma symptoms. The evidence was even stronger in studies with children.

The studies concluded drops were effective in reducing stuffy noses and itchy eyes of seasonal allergies, with 9 out of 36 studies showing a greater than 40 percent improvement. 

Congratulations, you have just graduated from Allergies 101.  Now, go outside and play!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Food Allergies

Food allergies on a shoe-string budget!

food allergy chart

In today’s economy it is extremely hard to grocery shop so that you can put a healthy, home-cooked meal on the table every night.   Add in food allergies and the struggle is tenfold. 

Researchers estimate that over 15 million Americans have food allergies.   1 in 13 kids are effected.  Below are a few practical tips for managing food intolerance's and allergies on a shoe-string budget that can help you save money and stay on track for feeding your family healthy meals.

First, try not to focus on the foods you can’t have.  Doing this can be very disheartening.  Instead, make a list of all the nutritious and beneficial foods that you can eat.  Surf the internet to broaden your options.

But try not to go overboard.  Keep meals simple until you have a better understanding of your dietary restrictions.  It can be overwhelming to jump right into complicated recipes with foods or spices that you have never prepared before.  Plus, it can be very costly. 

Remember, simple equals less expensive!

For a simple meal choose a protein, a carb, and a green vegetable, such as fish with brown rice and a mixed green salad.   Use this formula for a few weeks to give yourself time to adjust to the new diet before you start getting too fancy. 

Food allergies usually means more time at the stove.  And yes, it is healthier to cook from scratch but with today’s fast paced schedules we don’t always have the time to devote to hours in the kitchen.

Another good tip is to pick one food that the whole family enjoys, such as pizza and spend your time making allergy free crust.  Or if it’s pancakes, find a good recipe that is safe for you to eat and mix up enough dry ingredients for a couple of batches.  There is no point wasting time making homemade yogurt if no one in your family likes yogurt to start with.  

When deciding on which substitute foods to purchase be picky.  There are several on the market but some taste no different than cardboard and are just empty calories.  For example, there are several non-dairy options for cheese.  But do you really want a processed product consisting mostly of wax?  A better option might be nutritional yeast flakes.  They are quite inexpensive, especially if you buy them in bulk and have a cheesy, nutty taste that most kids don’t mind.

Once you learn what works for you “taste-wise” find a quality store where you can purchase things like gluten free products and grain free flours at bulk rate.  Some of the health stores offer discounts if you buy in large quantities.  Do your research!

During growing season find out when the local farmers market is open.  There is nothing like local produce for taste and the cost is usually lower than what you would find in the organic section of the grocery store.  

Feeding a family with food allergies doesn’t have to break the bank.  Learn to be creative so that eating healthy, allergy-free foods on a shoe-string budget can keep everyone happy and their belly’s full. 

Food allergies are no joke and we want to keep our kids and our ourselves as healthy as possible.  To boost your immune systems visit to find the product that is best suited for where you live. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Asthma and Allergies

May is National Asthma and Allergies Awareness Month – let’s get educated.

allergena cat and dog pet dander immunotherapy

People who suffer from asthma and allergies are most affected in the month of May when allergens are at their highest count. 

There are over 24 million people in the US who have asthma, 7 million of those are children.  An annual 50% reported mild to severe attacks.  By learning some of the facts about asthma and allergies it is hoped that more people will be aware of early symptoms and take action sooner rather than later.  Taking preventative action may improve the quality of life for many asthma and allergy suffers as well as save time and money spent on added emergency bills.

Asthma can be a serious and sometimes life-threatening chronic respiratory illness. It can affect anyone and at any time of their life. And though no one knows why some people develop asthma and others don't, research has found it is a combination of your environment and family history.

Once you have asthma, there is no cure and it will be with you for the rest of your life.

Symptoms of Asthma may include shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest, coughing and wheezing.  Allergy symptoms vary from mild to severe with congestion, watery eyes, runny nose, skin rash, fever and headaches.

At the start of an asthma attack you may experience itching around your eyes and face that soon progresses to swelling – causing difficulty in breathing.  Severe attacks can also lead to diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, confusion and dizziness.

Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to foreign materials and kick off an inflammatory response.  Certain weeds, grasses and trees release miniscule bits of pollen into the air, which we then inhale, triggering an allergic reaction.  Other allergens such as dust mite poop and mold spores can also bring about sneezing, water eyes and runny nose.

Scientist are working on a theory to help us understand why some people’s immune systems over react to allergens and others don’t.  Research has also revealed that the longer your system is exposed to the allergen the worse your symptoms can become.  This can happen especially if your immune system is has been compromised.

Awareness month is meant to educate more people about asthma and what triggers have been reported to bring about an attack and how it can be controlled.   Environmental triggers such as smoke, certain molds, pet dander and dust mites are known triggers.  Learning how to avoid these triggers with the correct treatment can help people who suffer from asthma lead a healthy active life.

The AAFA has compiled a 14 page comprehensive guide to Asthma and Allergy awareness month.  Click here to download.

If you are one of the 24 million who suffer from allergies and asthma educate yourself on the mechanics of homeopathic and Immunotherapy  

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dust Mites and Bed Bugs

Dust mites and bed bugs –two totally different types of pests!

cartoon of a bed bug
Dust mites

Dusts mites live in our carpets, upholstered furniture, stuffed animals, drapes and mattresses.  They are akin to the spider and about .25 to .3 mm long.  They are not visible to the naked eye. Dust mites feed on human skin cells but they don’t always stop there.  If we are messy eaters they will feast on crumbs and sugary bits carelessly dropped between the sheets.
And like everything that eats, it poops.  Dust mite excretions is the trigger behind our allergic reactions.  Some people breathe in this allergen and have no ill effect, but for others who suffer with COPD, asthma or respiratory issues, dust mites can bring about a mild to severe adverse reaction.   
Dust mites live everywhere that people live. The love warm, moist places like your bedding and carpets.

A female dust mite can produce up to 300 eggs during its 80 to 90 day lifespan and excrete over 200 times its body weight in poop.  Are you grossed out yet?  I am!

It is the most common household allergen, affecting 10% of the population and is the number one cause of perennial allergic rhinitis.  The elderly and kids are the most susceptible to these allergens. 

Bed bugs

Bed bugs are six-legged repulsive, parasitic insects.  They are about the size of a tick and reddish in color.  And like the tick, they are bloodsucking insects, feeding off of you.  They mainly come out at night but are not strictly nocturnal. 

Bed bugs love all beds because of the warmth and moistness but mostly an infestation will only take place in dirty/messy homes or hotels.  Clutter affords them a great place to hide and frequent guests provide food and the chance to spread. They travel anywhere, usually by catching a ride in pillows, stuffed animals, or clothing.

If you have an infestation you will notice small, itchy bites all over your skin when you wake.  They love to wait until dark to come out from their hiding place, feed off of you and then return to their nesting spot to sleep off their meal.  One good thing is that they lack the enzymes to create an allergic reaction in people.  Of course, just the knowledge that tiny vampire-like creatures are sucking on your blood while you are sleeping is probably enough to give you an allergic reaction.

How to stop the bugs?

Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of without professional help.  If you live in a rental speak to your landlord.  If you own, contact a reputable service who has experience in eliminating these nasty creatures. 

If you are a frequent traveler, bag your clothing in air-tight bags and only take in what you need for the day.  Keep your luggage elevated.  If you are staying at a motel and awake to red, itchy bites report them ASAP to the manager.

Dust mites are much easier to keep at bay.  You can purchase good dust mite covers for your bed and buy cleaning products especially designed to alter the natural qualities of the dust mite allergen.  Heat works wonders, too!  Wash your bedding in hot water and dry on the highest temperature.  Vacuum and dust regularly. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sublingual Immunotherapy Tablets Reducing Asthma

The results are in!  According to JAMA, the journal of American Medical Association, sublingual immunotherapy tablets not only helping with dust mite allergies but are reducing the risk of asthmas attacks in people with moderate to severe respiratory disorders.  (1)

allergies and dustmites

Allergies are known asthma triggers, especially for people who fall prey to dust mites.  Those tiny critters, which live in our bedding, carpets, drapes and stuffed animals, cab bring about all types of allergy symptoms as well as asthma attacks.

Of the 693 people who participated in the controlled study, all had used a corticosteriod inhaler with poor results.  Half of the group were then given immunotherapy tablets, engineered from dust mite allergens.  The daily dose of immunotherapy tablets significantly reduced the onset of asthma in 364 people.

This was the first large scale study conducted where sublingual immunotherapy tablets were tried as an asthma preventative.
Until now, doctors and allergist relied on injections to treat severe allergies, asthma and eczema.  But as we all know, shots can be a pain in the backside, literally as well as figuratively.  Both patients and doctors have been anxious to see if the immunotherapy tablets will work on allergy symptoms as well as to reprogram an immune system not to overreact to foreign bodies. 

Allergena is working to provide people everywhere with homeopathic allergy relief that directly fights the most common allergies in specific regions of the United States and now has developed Seasonal Allergy Tabs.

How do Allergena Seasonal Allergy Tabs work? The immune system defends us against disease. When harmful substances are detected, such as pollens, the immune system creates antibodies, which destroy or neutralize allergens (i.e. pollens, dust and/or mold) that cause us to have allergic reactions. 

However, sometimes even our immune system is not strong enough to defend against these allergens.
Allergena is a Homeopathic Immunotherapy that reduces the body’s negative reaction to allergens. Our homeopathic chewable tablets build immunity by exposing your body in micro doses to whatever it is that you are allergic to. This way, the body becomes safely conditioned to tolerate the allergens that previously brought on allergic reactions, and ultimately reduce allergic symptoms.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Is it wheat or yeast causing your food allergies?

Is it wheat or yeast causing your food allergies – a must read

Over the past several years more and more research is being conducted on the cause of food intolerance's.  What are they finding?  All the fingers should not be pointing to wheat.  Instead, we should be looking at yeast.

In 2003 a study was performed on over 300 people who showed minimal to severe food allergies. 

What did the study find? 

Cow’s milk was the #1 cause of food intolerance's and wheat was at the very bottom of the list.
80%   Cow’s milk and their products
27%   Oranges
21%   Cocoa
19%   All cheeses and yogurts
17%   Coffee
14%   Yeast
14%   Tea
12%   Aspartame
11%   Malt
10%   Monosodium glutamate
5%     Hydrolysed vegetable protein
3%     Goats and sheeps milk products
3%     Wheat

What were the people’s symptoms who were part of the study.

bloating, constipation, indigestion or diarrhea
behavioral problems
skin conditions
joint pain
recurrent infections

Studies have also shown that usually when a person is allergic to yeast, they are also allergic to cheese and yogurt.

But people like to self-diagnosis, especially with all the health trending articles.  So, when they eat bread, pizza, pasta, rolls and breakfast cereal and have a reaction they think wheat is the culprit. 

What they don’t think about is that all these foods contain yeast and might have be eaten with a piece of cheese or glass of milk. 

If a person is told to avoid wheat and in actuality has an intolerance to yeast they are not going to see much of an improvement in their health.  
The same is true for a person who is allergic to cow’s milk.  If a person gives up wheat but not milk they will not see any improvement in their health.  If a person gives up wheat and milk they might get better but it is not because of the lack of wheat in their diet.  It’s because they stopped drinking milk.
It seems the best alternative would be a milk and yeast free diet to start and then try no wheat if your symptoms are not showing any improvement.

For more ways to beat your allergies and boost your immune system visit Allergena.