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Histamine … Misunderstood Neurotransmitter

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Histamine is usually associated with the unwanted symptoms of allergic responses.  Runny nose and watering eyes and swelling are a few of the most common associations most of us have to too much histamine. Common knowledge also tells us that drugs such as benadryl act as anti-histamines, block the production of histamines and puts us to sleep. End of story? There is a lot more to this story…..Histamine is a stimulatory neurotransmitter and for at least some people may be responsible for the manic stages of bi-polar disorder.  It also plays a part in mood disorders in general. It is also part of the issue of addiction.  Foods that we are addicted to often give us a “high” that is at least in part, caused by the surge in histamine. As the histamine wears off we loose the stimulation and go looking for another “hit”. You know that you are in the cycle when you are “prowling the kitchen” looking for something to eat. Not just any food will do.  The apple doesn’t look good, the strawberries won’t do,  it has to be a milk product if that is what you are allergic to and are looking for your “high”. This process is also a contributor to the adrenal exhaustion the underlies all of the attention deficit (ADD) and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). When the body is overstimulated with too much histamine it will, over time, burn out the calming neurotransmitters, serotonin and GABA. This often contributes to depression and anxiety. We not only produce histamine we also ingest a lot of histamine in foods that are common in our diet. For some people too much histamine results in headaches and fatigue. You know the “triggers” for migraines?  Foods that seem to cause migraines in some people?  Chocolate and wine for example?  Sometimes they will trigger a headache, other times they do not.  Are they allergic?  Maybe. Often times the offending food will provide too much histamine and be the straw that broke the camel’s back, kicking in a migraine. Ripe fruit such as cantaloupe and bananas, salmon, red wine, and especially champagne are all high in histamine. Many chronically unwell persons with a wide variety of symptoms are deficient in the enzyme, diamine oxidase, that breaks down histamine and allows it to accumulate in the system. There is a supplemental source of diamine oxidase available.  For people with mild to severe allergies it can be a life-changing addition to their diet.  Taken with each meal it begins to lower the histamine accumulation in the body and lower the reactivity of the body.  The good news is that it does not cause drowsiness. It can treat a wide range of problems from migraine headaches to asthma to ADD and...

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Natural Mental Health-The Elephant in the Room

Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Treatment for most mental health issues usually consists of #1 talk therapy and #2 drugs. Both have their place for people and families struggling with mental health issues. Rarely do they get to the cause of most mental health problems. There is an elephant in the room that professionals, for the most part, ignore. It has been observed for centuries that people with significant mental health problems are not physically healthy. Almost without exception there are significant (seemingly unrelated) health problems in people who suffer from all sorts of mental health issues. Allergies, asthma, eczema, constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, sinus problems, Candida yeast overgrowth, foul flatulence, chronic colds and flu are just some of the common findings. Our society is in the midst of an epidemic of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, suicide, autism, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder,(ADHA) dyslexia, learning disabilities, eating disorders, mood disorders, thought disorders, bi-polar disorders…the list goes on and on and on. We keep describing symptoms and clustering them to put a label on them and then try to find a drug to keep the symptom under control. Many people, who end up abusing prescription and street drugs, including alcohol, are vulnerable to such addictions because they do not feel well. They are in effect trying to medicate themselves to take away fatigue, mental fog, anxiety, depression, physical and emotional pain. In our fragmented health care systems we have lost the connections and the realizations that the human body is an interconnected closed system where everything affects everything. Many years ago I attended a seminar presented by a pediatric allergist. She said that for years she would identify food allergies in her young patients and the parents would return several months later thanking her because their children’s behavior had so drastically improved. Their temper tantrums had ceased and they were sleeping better. The Doctor said that she brushed off those comments thinking that there was less stress in the family and therefore the behaviors had improved. It took her years to realize the food-allergy and behavior connection was a direct correlation in many of her patients. Think about this: When someone is drunk from alcohol it affects all of the bodily systems; speech gets slurred, they lose their sense of balance, thinking becomes slow, mood becomes altered. We know that the whole brain in under the influence of the alcohol. So how did the alcohol get there? Did the person rub it on their scalp? Of course not –they ingested it! It had to go through the gut to get to the brain. Next time—The gut-brain...

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Candida and the Web of Chronic Illness

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Yeast is an opportunistic organism. It takes hold when the conditions are right. When the body’s vitality is low and the immune system is over worked we become susceptible.   Remove heavy metal exposure and toxic exposure. Mercury /silver filling in the teeth, excess fish consumption, workplace exposure, pesticides are places to start looking. Consider a hair analysis.   Clean out the bowel by increasing fiber and using digestive enzymes and magnesium citrate if necessary. Remember that diarrhea is often an extreme form of constipation. Consider colonics and/or a vitamin C Flush. Treat for parasites if necessary.   Consider a liver cleanse to open the pathways of detoxification.   Identify underlying infections and treat. Viruses, unfriendly bowel bacteria, root canals, cavitations, chronic sinus, bladder, kidney lung infections are some places to look.   Consider a very low glycemic diet while you are detoxifying. Sugar, gluten, milk, alcohol must be avoided.   Balance Omega 6 and Omega 3 oil intake. 4 parts of sunflower oil mixed with 1 part flaxseed oil is an ideal combination. 2-6 Tbs a day. Increase evening primrose oil if you have a lot of inflammation. This only helps if you are on a very low glycemic diet. Avoid hydrogenated oils and margarine.   Take organic minerals and eat an abundance of fresh, organic vegetables and some fruit.   Re-inoculate the gut with friendly bacteria and HSO. Consider using Lactic Acid Yeast to acidify the gut.   Eliminate acquired allergies using NAET or JMT and acupuncture.   Take time to rest. The body heals when you are sleeping. Take herbs like valerian or skullcap to help with sleep.   De-stress your life as much as possible.   Spend at least 20 minutes a day out in the sunlight. Morning light is the best. Do not wear sunglasses for that time. You can shade your eyes with a hat.   Consider getting regular massages to help with relaxation and lymph drainage.   Consider regular saunas and/or Epsom salt baths to help with detoxification.   Begin a regular exercise program even if that means walking to the end of the driveway twice a day.   Test to see if you have a gluten and or dairy allergy...

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Beating Depression without Drugs

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Depression is one of modern society’s scourges. It affects most people at least temporarily sometime in their life. Situational depression can come after a personal loss of some kind whether from a job loss, death, divorce or illness. Time, counseling or family support, and a short course (3 to 6 months) of an anti-depressant either natural or prescription is usually enough to do the trick. St John’s Wort or tryptophan (an amino acid) are two popular natural anti-depressants. Mild to Moderate Depression is another story. It is often an unwanted companion that resembles a little black cloud. Symptoms can include insomnia, sleeping too much, lack of appetite, eating constantly, fatigue, lack of interest in sex, lack of interest in life, muscle pain, withdrawal, crying and fatigue.   Anti-depressants (prescription) are often effective in the short run because they trick the body into thinking that it has more serotonin. In the long run however use of Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibiters (SSRI ) may further deplete the body’s serotonin reserves. This is why after about six months the drug’s effectiveness appears to wear off. The solution from your Dr. is to increase the dosage and or change the drug to regain the effectiveness. For many people it is also a life sentence to being dependent on drugs. This may be your best option.   However, there may be other options to finding the bottom-line cause of the depression. Few people know that food allergies or sensitivities may be the root cause of depression. Gluten and milk sensitivities are prime suspects. The only symptom you may experience is depression! Skin testing is NOT an effective way to test for food sensitivities. Saliva tests are a great way to screen for food allergies but are no more effective than blood tests. If they come back positive, then you do have a sensitivity. If they come back negative we have really learned nothing. It could be that you are not sensitive or that the test did not pick it up because the immune system is so compromised that it did not react to the challenge.   Chinese Medicine offers another way to evaluate what is going on with chronic depression. As a theory of health it looks at the Energy Systems that are associated with organs. Often a pattern of blockages can be identified and can be treated with acupuncture, supplements, lifestyle changes and herbs. Usually the patterns involve the Liver, Lung, Spleen or Kidney Energy Systems. It is common to reverse chronic depression with no or minimal amounts of drugs.  ...

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It’s My Liver?!?!

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Liver Disturbances – Chinese medicine recognizes when the liver is “congested or stagnant” This does not mean it is diseased from a Western Medicine point of view. The following symptoms are often associated with Liver Energy disturbances. People usually do not experience all of the symptoms but a “cluster” of them.     Do you suffer from: Allergies? Rashes? Fatigue? Migraine Headaches? Tension Headaches? Neck and Shoulder Tension?   Tendonitis? Are You Easily Irritated? Easily Frustrated? Easily Angered? Are You Overly Emotional? Depressed?   Do you wake at night between 1:00AM and 3:00am? Alternating Diarrhea and Constipation? Irregular Menstrual Cycle or PMS Symptoms? On a grocery list of medications? Can’t drink wine or alcohol without hangover? Eye problems such as floaters?   Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Functional Medicine are all helpful modalities in treating liver imbalances.  ...

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Another Look at Migraines and Tension Headaches

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Most people who suffer from migraine headaches assume that it as a curse that they will live with the rest of their lives or until it mysteriously disappears. Many women believe that since their migraine headache is related to their periods that they will suffer until menopause.   There are alternatives! Many people have been able to eliminate or drastically reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of their headaches with Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. Oriental Medicine offers a unique perspective because it offers us a Theory of Health as opposed to a Theory of Disease. By understanding the underlying energy imbalances that cause the headache it is possible to adjust the energy using acupuncture, diet, supplements and herbs and therefore eliminating the symptoms.   Some migraines are caused by gluten and other food allergies. Skin testing is notoriously unreliable in identifying food allergies. Saliva testing and blood testing are more likely to pick up food allergens. Hidden food allergies often do not present with an immediate cause and effect because the allergen is almost always in the system. A specific symptom (headache) may not present itself until there is an overload of the allergen. Some allergens cause delayed reactions. It may be hours or even days after ingesting a problem food before the symptom occurs. This makes cause and effect very difficult to connect.   In Oriental Medicine the diagnosis consists of identifying the energy patterns (organs) that are out of balance. Headaches are often connected with the liver-gallbladder energy system. This does not mean that the liver and gallbladder are diseased from a Western Medicine perspective. It is a subtle imbalance not a disease process that involves pathogens like virus and bacteria. The symptoms are often not subtle at all! (Headaches)   Control of the symptoms is often very possible with acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and targeted lifestyle...

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