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Keep Your Nose in It

smell, nose, olfactory, health, healthy, natural

Your nose is not just that pretty thing in the middle of your face. It works for you in many ways. It is a major component of your overall respiratory system. It filters trash to keep it out of your lungs; it warms outside air before it entered the lungs to prevent the pain of a cold day; and it, along with the adjoining sinuses, humidifies incoming air to prevent the entire system from drying out.

Here are a few interesting facts about the nose’s filtration importance: city dwellers may inhale 20 billion particles of foreign matter every day; while you are in heavy traffic, you may breathe as many airborne free radicals as a pack-a-day smoker; even if you are a nonsmoker, if you are in close association with smokers you raise your risk of lung cancer by 30%.

Your nose is a leading component in the distinction of smells.
~ This can be emotional. Think about the smells of your mother’s kitchen, or your favorite restaurant. The loss of your sense of smell can, therefore, take much of the joy out of eating.
~ This can be activating. Think about what the smell of a gym does to your energy level. Or think about your response to the smell of your favorite partner’s cologne or perfume.
~ This can be comforting. Think about the smell of your favorite room at home, your family’s favorite activities, or even your own motor vehicle.
~ This can be lifesaving. Your sense of smell may alert you to the presence of toxins, poisons, or other dangers.

The loss of the sense of smell is called anosmia. And this sense seems to deteriorate in most people shortly after the age of 60. Many people lose it completely. It is a chemical sensing system and requires the release of molecules to send signals to specific parts of the brain. The nerve bundle that does this is in the top part of the nose and is connected directly to the brain.

I read one article on the internet that listed over a dozen reasons why a person may lose their sense of smell. Some were unavoidable, such as injuries and birth abnormalities. Some were developmental, like developing polyps or problems with the central nervous system, or simply aging. Some came as a side effect of normal living, like cold, allergies, and chronic sinus conditions. But many were preventable, like inhaling toxic chemicals, tobacco smoke, illegal drugs.

Complete loss of the sense of smell is difficult (some say impossible) to treat. But I found a number of alternative remedies on the internet which have helped many to regain the sense of smell. Here is a “short list”:
~ Warm castor oil drops in the nose can alleviate swelling and inflammation.
~ Warm garlic tea can relieve cold and flu symptoms to help you breathe easier.
~ Chew small pieces of ginger to unblock a stuffy nose.
~ Make a tea from honey and cayenne pepper. Its capsaicin can clear congestion.
~ Warm honey-lemon tea stimulates the olfactory nerves
~ Continued, long term bentonite clay baths may detox your body so as to restore your sense of smell.
~ Drink warm apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey to thin nasal mucus and enhance smell.
~ Ask a practitioner about “oil pulling” using sesame or coconut oil as it helps oral health!

There are also several minerals that have been associated with the loss of smell. Consider:
~ B-12 is necessary for all nerve tissue health.
~ A vitamin E deficiency may lead to nerve damage which might diminish your sense of smell.
~ Zinc is also necessary for many sensory benefits.

Since smell is directly associated with your sense of taste, a loss of the smell sense can cause eating disorders as well and if you don’t eat, you don’t get nutrients for other body systems either.

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

The Eyes Have It

eyes, funny, natural

Most of us truly treasure our eyesight. Yet most of us take for granted that as we grow older our eyesight will diminish. On the other hand, we regularly hear of folks well into their centenary years who still have excellent eyesight – often even without eyeglasses. So what makes the difference? Surely genetics plays a part in it. But I believe that proper nutrition that “feeds” the eyes is also a contributor. Let’s look at some herbs that specifically seem to nourish the eyes.

One whose name seems to speak to its benefit is Eyebright. It has been used for centuries as the herb of choice for many diseases of the eyes. Eyebright can be taken internally and is also used in many eyewash formulas because it has antibacterial, antiseptic and astringent properties. It is especially useful for treating conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” and sore, stinging inflammation along with discharges. Eyebright seems to have the ability to improve vision, relieve eye pressure, relieve over-sensitivity to light, and protect the optic nerve in the early stages of glaucoma. A number of testimonials attribute to its usefulness in removing cataracts if used regularly for a few weeks to a few months. It contains a glycoside called aucoboside, which definitely strengthens the capillaries and improves circulation in the eyes. Making eyewash with it is easy and the wash can be used up to a dozen times a day. Simply empty a capsule of the herb into water and boil it for about ten minutes. Cool it, strain it, and then use it as you would any eyewash. This can relieve the discomfort of both eyestrain and minor irritation.

Bilberry contains potent antioxidants that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier to neutralize free radicals in the brain and other nerve tissues including the eyes. One reference told the story of British pilots in World War II who ate bilberry jam on their bread. It states that they were observed to suffer less fatigue, have reduced eye irritation and nearsightedness, and possess better night vision and an extended range and sharpness of vision. It is further known to reduce eye irritation from smog. Note that while vision will often improve within a couple of weeks, continued use over time is needed for the greatest benefits.

There is truth to the old adage that eating carrots will also help improve your eyesight. You see, carrots contain not only beta carotene but other carotenoids such as lutein which concentrate in the eye. These are needed in sufficiently high levels to protect eye tissues such as the macula, and macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual loss. One reference also noted that lutein dwindles in menopausal years, which may contribute to loss of eyesight as women age.

Soy has a variety of nutritional values. Among them is its ability to lower high cholesterol. How does that relate to the eyes? High cholesterol levels drop the density of retinol necessary for good eye health.

Combinations, which take advantage of the synergistic effect of combining herbs, contribute to “eye” formulas. One popular formula combines eyebright with golden seal (antiseptic), bayberry (astringent), and red raspberry (better known for its use in female tonics). Such combinations have been used with hay fever, glaucoma, and superficial cataracts. Remember that these results may take months to accomplish.

Vitamins are a good idea for all our body systems, but we should note that of particular importance to our eyes are the vitamins A and C and a good complex of the B vitamins. And keep eating carrots!

Don’t face old age passively. Work at getting everything from life that God intended. And when we “vote” for good vision right up to the moment we’re called to heaven’s gate, remember, the “eyes” have it. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings. Gen.1:29.

  • For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

The Importance of Exercise

exercise, natural, health

We all know that exercise is important. It is certainly one of the practices that we need to incorporate into your life to ensure that we have a healthy, fulfilling life when the entire world around us seems to be falling apart. Most can recall the increased activity levels of our youth, but we seem to let go of the motivation to “move” as we age. Life gets busy and the gym loses its priority, and after a long day of sedentary work, we just want to relax. So a mental acknowledgment of the importance of exercise gives way to the practicality of daily living. Is that really so bad?

Truthfully, no healthy lifestyle is sustainable without proper exercise. I’m not suggesting that every person need to go spend hours in a gym every day or even that you have a gym membership. But “movement is necessary for health. Let’s look at some reasons.

Of primary importance is the fact that several of our body systems depend on movement to function properly. The circulatory system has the heart at its center – a pump that forces blood through arteries, veins, and capillaries to get nutrients and oxygen to all our cells. But look at three of these systems:

  • The respiratory system provides oxygen to the circulatory system for disbursement. But the amount of oxygen we have to send is dependent on how much is in the lungs. Deeper breathing, like that that accompanies exercise, provides the needed oxygen. And the bottom parts of the lungs may fill with fluids if we don’t breathe deeply regularly. Carbon dioxide is toxic and can stay for long periods of time in the lower lungs if we don’t breathe deeply – e.g., exercise!
  • Elimination from the digestive system requires movement. There is no digestive “pump”. Movement of nutrients from digestion throughout the digestive systems depends on the peristalsis that comes from muscles pressing against the intestines and colon. Bowel “movements” require movement!
  • The lymphatic system is the system that removes dead cells from within the body. It is estimated that the body is made up of some 50-100 trillion cells and about 300 million of them die and are replaced every minute. Those in the digestive tract are generally removed through the digestive tract, but the remainder is removed by the lymphatic system. And it requires muscle contractions to move dead cells through peristalsis. Without exercise, those dead cells just rest and putrefy inside your body contributing to disease.

Most publicity about exercise centers on weight management. You probably know a lot about that already, so I’ll just point out that a pound of body weight equals around 3500 calories. We have machines to measure your metabolic rates. Each person’s rates are different and depend on factors such as current weight, exercise levels, types of foods consumed, and caloric intake. For most people, the rates run around 1200 to 2500 calories burned per day. If you consume more than you burn, you gain weight. Exercise not only burns calories, but it also raises your metabolic rate, making it easier to burn more.

And one writer I read recently stated that “a sedentary lifestyle is the new cancer.” I know of many people who decide to retire from work and then go home, sit down, watch TV, and die within a couple of years. We were created for movement.

Whether you exercise to feel better, to lose weight, to look better, or to help prevent disease, know that it helps in all these lifestyle factors. Get moving!

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Which Water is Best

I talk a lot about water. A common question for me is “Does it matter what kind of water I drink?” Answer: Yes! Are you just trying to keep your body hydrated, or do you have “health” reasons for drinking the water?

water, best, natural, health

So what are the common types of water and what makes one different from the other? Answer: Let’s look at some common types and their differences. This is not an exhaustive list, but does cover many of the more popular types.

  • Tap Water. Whether you should drink the tap water or not depends what the tap is connected to. Most “city water” taps are filled with chlorine, fluorine, and other chemicals to provide “water safety”. Many of these chemicals can themselves be toxic. And if you have your own well, you should have it tested to see what pathogens and adverse minerals it may contain. Then you can determine if it is safe enough for your tastes.
  • Filtered Water: You may have a water filter on your well or your water tank or your refrigerator. For many this is sufficient – for cooking, cleaning, bathing and perhaps drinking. This depends on you likes and your health concerns.

And then, popular bottled waters:

  • Distilled water is “dead” water. It has no nutrients at all. It is great for using in home appliances where chemicals may be caustic, but as a drinking water I could only think it useful for some body cleansing purposes where you are seeking to get rid of toxins and cleaning is the end purpose.
  • Spring Water is promoted as natural, and clean. It is simply water with natural minerals, and if from a reputable source and is simply to hydrate may be sufficient.
  • Artesian water is promoted as earth’s finest water. The label from a very popular brand reads “rainfall filters through volcanic rock, adding the vital minerals that give [it] its unique and refreshing taste. The water collects in an active ancient artesian aquifer deep within the earth, where it is protected from external elements.” It is a very popular drinking water, simply for hydration.
  • Some brands are labeled as “ultra-purified”. They address contaminants as “less than one part per million”. Their claim is that there are “no additives”, processed for “fast hydration” and “quick absorption” and a patented process to accomplish this. Purity is their main claim and purity is certainly important, but remember that the body itself also removes toxins and uses what it needs of whatever you consume, casting out impurities and toxins as it can.
  • We carry a black water that gets its color from a blend of fulvic and other trace minerals. It’s a great water if you’re looking for another source of trace minerals normally missing from your diets. And it contains electrolytes.
  • Alkaline waters come in many strengths. The black water mentioned above is one alkaline water. We also have a product called Crazy Water which comes in four different pH levels. Since most pathogens entering our bodies cannot survive in an alkaline environment, this is another way to raise the pH level of your body and reduce some acidity.

You can personally research and determine which type of water works best for you. How does it fit with or enhance other health issues for you. From my perspective, it is most important to get enough of some kind of water regularly to keep your body functioning well. Remember that you need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to fully hydrate your body systems. That’s about the equivalent of one two-liter bottle a day. Fill a two-liter bottle each morning with “effective” water. Make it a goal to drink it all before bedtime that night, preferably by sipping it often all day long!

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Sustainable Living

While Sustainable Living may take on many connotations, I have chosen to look at it from the perspective of personal growth and personal survival under less than perfect conditions. What are the practices that you need to incorporate into your life to ensure that you have a healthy, fulfilling life when all the world around you seems to be falling apart?

First, you will need to eat “live” foods. Live foods are food from which the vital nutrients have not been removed. We generally call these types of foods “unprocessed” foods. In order to enhance shelf life for our food products, suppliers remove nutrients that cause shelf life to be shortened. But that causes them to contain fewer vital nutrients and aren’t as good for your health.

Next, we need to add more “green” foods to our diets. Green foods contain chlorophyll and are richer in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that aren’t available in other foods. These green foods can come from land or sea sources and your diet should have a variety of them to get the variety of nutrients that your body needs.

I take every opportunity I get to highlight the importance of consuming sufficient water. Well over half our body is water-based – from our circulatory system to our lymphatic system to our digestive system and so on. Nothing in our bodies works well without sufficient water. How much do you need? You need a minimum of 64 ounces per day in small serving throughout the day. Your maximum should be around half your body weight in ounces, from a minimum of 64 ounces to about 100 ounces. Drinking more than that could cause some to wash out vital nutrients. Of course, if your lifestyle causes you to sweat a lot, you may need to replace more as well.

And no lifestyle is sustainable without proper exercise. I’m not suggesting that every person need to go spend hours in a gym every day. But several of our body systems depend on movement to function properly – bowel “movements” require movement (!); the lymphatic system requires muscle contractions to move dead cells through peristalsis. And one writer I read recently stated that “a sedentary lifestyle is the new cancer”. I know of many people who decide to retire from work and then go home, sit down, watch TV, and die within a couple of years. We were created for movement.

Our bodies were created to last around 120 years. But a sustainable lifestyle includes more than just existing. Get healthy; get active; eat green “live” foods, and drink plenty of water. As Mr. Spock on Star Trek says, “Live long and Prosper!”

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Managing Regional Allergies

allergy, allergies, regional, US, u.s., managing, relief, planningHave you ever noted how people who live most of their lives in a given location seem to have fewer allergies to the things in that area? I concede that this is not true for every person who lives there, but I still observe it to be generally true. Our bodies seem to have a great ability to adapt.

It is true that as we apply homeopathy, we find that when we ingest a very small amount of a substance (say one part per million!) we don’t immediately feel the effects of that particle on our bodies. But the body recognizes that substance even at that small dilution. And, if that substance is something that could cause harm at a larger dosage, then the body begins immediately to prepare antibodies to the substance. It’s the same principle used in giving someone a flu shot to prevent the flu – a small, weaken germ that causes the body to prepare antidotes so that it is prepared when larger samples arrive.

I think in a broad sense this applies to the allergy example. If you live in an area for a long period of time and your body is subjected to the same substances repeatedly for several years, then your body may produce the antibodies so that with a healthy immune system you may not have the negative reactions that normally result.

This could account for travel problems where street vendors’ foods, local water, and different environmental factors cause you problems. And have you noted new immune issues when you move into a new area or decide to embark on a new diet or new regional activities?

To cover these types of allergy problems, several of our supplement suppliers offer “allergy drops” that are specific to a given regional zone. We purchase only Zone 5 drops from one such provider. They seem to cover the allergy discomforts for folks who live in or visit this zone.

A word of caution – whether this particular information is scientifically, fully accurate or not, you should be prepared to follow good health practices when you travel, move, or visit new places. Take your personal supplements with you and don’t let an allergic reaction to something new spoil your trip.

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Detox Options

Many of the things we eat routinely can not only be “not good for us,” they can often be toxic. Add these effects on our bodies to the others we encounter every day (smog, air pollution, industrial pollutants, household cleansers, food preservatives and dyes, chemical fumes, car exhaust, normal metabolism, poor elimination of food, waste products in the blood from illness or disease…), and we can see that we can really have our bodies bombarded with toxins. The inevitable consequences are further disease or debility. Cleansing (detoxification) should be a recurring part of our normal routine. I personally follow a routine that includes a monthly detoxification – perhaps an organ or a body system or a whole-body cleanse.

Periodic cleansing has been included in recorded history for millennia. Traditional health practices of many nations – Chinese, Europeans, Ayurveda, Native American, and Asiatic Indians – practiced and still continue some form of detoxification. In early American history, the Pennsylvania Dutch ate wild greens like lettuce and dandelions and other herbs in the spring to cleanse their bodies after a long winter of heavy foods. Native Americans used black teas made from yaupon hollies to produce sweating and bowel evacuation. One writer even suggests “nature herself seems to suggest the importance of detoxification … many of the plants that burst forth in early spring are cleansing in nature.”

There are many ways to cleanse. The program you choose may last only a day or two or a week or two. It may even take the form of a recurring dietary change. Most of us know of foods that seem to “go right through us … a hint that they may be added to our personal cleansing program. And some foods seem to work for most everyone – e.g., fresh cherries, available in early spring, have a definite cleansing effect on the bowels and help eliminate the uric acid buildup linked to heavy meat consumption and diseases like joint problems or gout. Fasting often accompanies detoxification regimens as well, but we’ll make that the subject of a future article.

I personally enjoy using herbs and herbal combinations to cleanse. The phytonutrients in many of the herbs encourage the body to detoxify naturally. And as a rule, we should be sure to cleanse the eliminative organs (kidneys and liver) and the blood and lymphatic systems, as well as the intestinal system.

Combinations for the organs should include herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, barberry root bark, and dandelion root. Adding lecithin and amino acids to your diet are also helpful especially for the liver. The blood and lymph glands also benefit from the dandelion and burdock, and combinations for them should include red clover, Oregon grape root, butcher’s broom, garlic, pau d’arco bark, and yellow dock. Cleansers for the intestine include natural laxatives like cascara sagrada and senna leaves, high-fiber “scrubbers” like psyllium hulls, and parasite killers like artemisia, black walnut hulls, and elecampane.

Regular cleansing and detoxifying (at least two to four times per year) along with good nutrition, exercise, and proper supplements will add quality to your life and ward off many of the diseases that rob us of real joy. Our improved distribution systems make most foods available to us year-round, so we tend to forget the cycles of nature. Start your own cleaning program and see how much better you feel.

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Joint Health

joint_health, Painful joints affect millions of Americans. Basically, they are inflammation issues, but the inflammation may have a variety of roots. Recent research says delayed food allergies may cause joint diseases. And there are other diet and weight issues to consider, too.

Pain is generally the primary concern for sufferers.  And besides common prescription painkillers, there are many natural pain relievers, such as turmeric, curcumin, white willow bark, una de gato, yucca, colostrum and others.

Gout is one prevalent joint issue that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body.  It was once called the ailment of the rich due to the fact that many foods in their diets (now common in most of our diets) such as red meats, mushrooms, alcohol, flour and sugar leave a uric acid residue.  Reducing these in your diet and adding black cherries and celery seed can reduce these symptoms. You might also consider supplements containing safflowers and juniper berries.

Uric acid often collects in the joints forming small crystals that grind into the tissues as the joints move.  A great tonic to help dissolve these crystals in made by mixing an ounce of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of raw honey, two ounces of warm water and two ounces of apple juice and drinking this one to three times per day.

The breakdown and loss of the tissue pads between the bones of your joints due to wear also causes bone-to-bone inflammation. While much research says that these tissues cannot be rebuilt, we have found that long-term use of glucosamine with chondroitin is helpful. Here, MSM also helps to alleviate much of the pain in the tissues around the joints.

Several years ago I had a customer come in early while I was cleaning the floors and wanted to talk about joint pain in her knees. I noted her weight without mentioning it to her and asked if she would walk with me while we chatted.  A moment later I asked her to hold a 25-pound wooden display barrel so I could clean under it and then walked a few steps further. She followed. Then I picked up a second barrel and asked her to hold it. Still talking, she followed me and began to breathe a bit harder. I chuckled and took the barrels from her and asked her what she felt as we walked only those few steps. She mentioned the hard breathing but also commented on the added discomfort in her knees. She admitted that the two barrels weighed about the same as the amount of weight she needed to lose. Being overweight definitely contributes to the wear and inflammation in our joints. Try to get to and maintain the optimal weight for your age and physical structure and you may have less joint issues as well.

Our body systems all work together. Proper anti-inflammatory diets, appropriate exercise, sufficient hydration, and recommended supplementation may all help you enjoy health joints and painless movement throughout your life.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com. See our blog at www.TheHealthPatch.com. Our full staff is now offering affordable private consultations – call to schedule yours!

Reflexology

Years ago I heard an illustration regarding the importance of each of us doing our part to make the world a better place.  It used the Biblical picture of us all being a part of the body, and noted that most of us think of the foot as being relatively unimportant – until we stub a toe!  At that moment all the energies of the rest of the body are concentrated toward that hurting member.  Thus it is with our feet.

If I were to take a survey (as I often do in some of our classes), I’d find that most of us spend quite a bit of time applying cosmetics to our faces, washing and fixing our hair, bathing our bodies, and perhaps even getting massages and spa treatments.  But little attention is paid to our feet until they begin to give us trouble.  If we are in a career that requires us to be on our feet for extended periods of time, then we are more apt to pay attention to them.  Or if we hurt them in some way, then they get some attention.  But they need that attention regularly in a preventive role as well.  We need to realize their importance to our overall well-being.

How much do you know about your feet?  On average, each foot contains 26 small bones, 114 ligaments, and some 20 muscles.  These are held together by connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves and covered with layers of skin. Your feet contain about a quarter of all the bones in your body and they are the foundation of your whole skeletal structure.  They support your whole upright body weight throughout your life.

Over a century ago, the feet were “charted”.  It was noted that the feet were particularly sensitive in spots that directly related to areas of distress in the body.  So a chart was created that linked areas of the feet to specific portions of the body.  Thus “reflexology” was born.

In her book on Reflexology, Inge Dougans states, “Reflexology is a gentle art, a fascinating science and an extremely effective form of therapeutic foot massage that has carved an impressive niche in the field of complementary medicine.  It is a science because it is based on physiological and neurological study and an art because much depends on how skillfully the practitioner applies his or her knowledge, and the dynamics which occur between practitioner and recipient.”

She later continues, “Reflexologists do not isolate a disease and treat it symptomatically, nor do they work specifically on a problem organ or system, but on the whole person with the object of inducing a state of balance and harmony.  The art of reflex foot massage must not be confused with basic foot massage or body massage in general.  It is a specific pressure technique which works on precise reflex points on the feet, based on the premise that reflex areas on the feet correspond with all body parts.  As the feet represent a microcosm of the body, all organs, glands and other body parts are laid out in a similar arrangement on the feet.”

And since the nerves of the feet are “linked” to various parts of the body, it stands to reason that the use of essential oils and aromatherapy may also enhance that feeling of completeness.

So what does all this mean to you and me?  Well, we all enjoy a good foot massage, don’t we?  But there may be times when we are particularly stressed in some portion of our lives or some part our bodies and we may want to seek out the advice and counsel of a competent reflexologist.  Knowing just how much pressure to place on just the right spot on our feet may be “just what the doctor ordered” to bring us a renewed sense of well-being.  Good health and God bless.

–  For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Food Allergies

Though food sensitivities take many forms and various levels, most of us begin to have allergies to foods as we age – even foods we once enjoyed.  Did you ever wonder why?

When we put things in our mouths, the body asks “can I digest that?” If it is something the body can readily digest, it considers it “food”, and begins the digestive process.  This will mean the body has the enzymes and nutrients to turn the substance from its raw form to a form from which it may extract the nutrients and distribute then throughout the body. But as you age, your pancreas may lose the ability to produce some of the enzymes it needs.

So if the body says “I can’t digest this!” it considers it a foreign substance and begins the process of refusing it.  It produces “allergic” reactions to kill, compartmentalize, or expel the matter:

– specialized cells are generated to “kill” the invader

– mucous is produced to smother it

– coughing and sneezing start to expel it

– fever may be raised to “burn it up”

– tearing may occur to wash it out

While we call these “allergic reactions”, they are a valuable part of our immune system – they keep the “foreign material” from harming us.

So, what can we do when these reactions start?  Well, obviously we can stay clear of the foods that cause the reactions. But often we can just take a supplemental enzyme to “digest” the matter. This is especially true if it is foods that we once enjoyed and digested well.

Remember, many food sensitivities may be much more critical – don’t treat them lightly.  While this won’t work for all food sensitivities, it may be a welcome relief for those who develop allergies to once-cherished foods later in life. You may not have to give up many of your favorite foods just because “old age” is slowing you down!

–  For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.