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Archive for allergies

Autumn/Fall – Things to Consider

My wife was born and raised in Northwest Arkansas. We met, dated and married at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. You couldn’t do that and not develop a fascination and joy in the colors of Fall. Even now we take an annual trip to somewhere where we can watch the beauty of Nature fading from green to shades of red, orange and yellow.

So, I decided to spend a few minutes reflecting on other of our life’s activities that help to make Fall both uplifting and healthy!

Fall is harvest time. Apples; many varieties of winter squash; green vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts; and onions – all these and more speak of harvest and planning root cellars so we can enjoy the freshness of the harvest all through the winter months. And for things that don’t overwinter so well – like beans, peas, corn, cucumbers, and peppers – this is the time for canning. That’s an all Summer and Fall activity at our house. So, by the end of Fall the pantry is full of sauerkraut, vegetable soups, jellies, jams, pickles (cucumber, squash, and okra varieties); and the freezer is full of berries, beans and other Summer bounty.

That’s the good! But Fall is also the time for Seasonal Allergies – a bane for many! The last of the pollen sprays: ragweed, pine, mold & mildew, indoor pet dander & fur, and dust mites to name a few, are contentious at best; nagging at worst! Many deal with sniffles, sneezing, itchy throats, teary red eyes, etc., during this season. A simple internet search of Fall allergies lists many common prevention methods to avoid these symptoms. But there are also a number of herbal solutions. Some boost your immune system, and some bear names like “Seasonal Allergies” that promote herbs that counter many of the common symptoms. These days, you don’t really have to “suffer” with most symptoms.

We know that sunshine is important for the production of vitamin D, which is an immune system boost that the body produces from sunshine on the skin. You might consider a vitamin D supplement during the Fall and Winter to promote a healthier immune system. And sunshine also enhances to our moods and there is also an increase is depression or simple moodiness in the Fall. Find activities that energize you or stimulate good feelings for your Fall enjoyment. You might also consider a supplement that elevates your mood.

Adding to the “moodiness of the Fall is that we now use Daylight Savings Time. While some feel this gives them some extra daylight to get outdoor activities done, it does complicate our natural circadian rhythm. Wikipedia states this is “a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats on each rotation of the Earth roughly every 24 hours”. When I used to travel overseas regularly years ago, I was told that for each time zone you transited you need a day to reset this natural rhythm. So while we’re only talking about one hour here, many people report the onset of sleep problems that, for some, last more than a day to get their body rhythms back in sync.

For my family, Fall is a beautify time of the year. We love the color, take a couple of extra supplements, enjoy the bounty of the season and look forward to a decrease in the busyness of the Summer. I pray that your Fall brings pleasant respites as well! Good health and God’s blessings!

  • 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.

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.

Managing Personal Allergies

allergies, personal, pollen, manage, managing, cat, fish, eggs, How is your immune system? If it is healthy you probably are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have a lot of allergies. You see, when we ingest pollens, pollutants, toxins, etc., our bodies have to determine whether it is something natural for our bodies or something that will cause us trouble – e.g., a dietary dilemma, a respiratory resistance, a bowel blunder, or system-wide stress.

If the foreign material is new to us, or our bodies are not able to break it down, then the immune system has to come up with a plan to keep it from breaking us down. This is particularly true with seasonal distresses. We live in central Oklahoma. We recently had a warmer week in the middle of a couple of truly cold periods. I guess Mother Nature thought for a few days that it was turning to Spring, so the Red Cedar trees started to really pour out their pollen. Virtually the whole of the mid-Oklahoma population ran to our shop for anything we had to help them breathe. Histamines poured, nasal passages and sinuses swelled, mucus built and caused coughing, sneezing, and congestion, and dis-ease was rampant.

Fortunately, these are so common that we keep on hand a variety of supplements that block the histamines and minimize the other symptoms. But what can YOU do in these cases?

Be aware of your immune shortfalls. Ask family members what bothers them … they may also be the things that bother you. Particularly ask your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles what changes they noted as they aged. Be prepared for those seasons that cause you discomfort. Journal! Keep a record of foods that cause you dietary trouble. Stay away from animals that have dander to which you react negatively.

And when you find products that work for your particular allergies, keep some on hand. You may not have a lot of warning when your provokers arise.

I’ve noted a number of new techniques that my customers are able to use to manage their symptoms. Be aware! Look into homeopathic solutions. Consider aromatherapy. Pay attention to the weather and the seasonal changes. No one knows your body or your natural shortcomings like you do.

– 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.