The Insider's Guide to Holistic Health

Archive for April, 2013

Why Are We So Allergic?

Pollen

Pollen-Scratchy little devils!

Why am I allergic to everything?

How do you get an allergy?

A couple of common questions…

An allergy is an overreaction to a generally harmless substance and the causative substance is called an allergen.

Initially allergies are airborne in nature and untreated or repeated exposures cause year round symptoms due to hyper-sensitizing.

Histamine is a potent chemical that causes…congestion, runny or itchy nose, watery itchy eyes, itchy roof of mouth, frequent sneezing, coughing, scratchy throat etc. Sometimes people just think they have a cold.

When an allergen such as pollen is absorbed into the body of a hyper-sensitive or allergic person, the immune system views it as an invader and the attack reaction begins. The immune system’s white blood cell’s antibodies produce IgE antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to mast cells which are blood cells made up of several types of tissues and containing many granules rich in histamine and heparin (an anti coagulant). Although best known for their role in allergies and anaphylaxis, mast cells play an important protective role as well, being intimately involved in wound healing and defense against pathogens.

Mast cells are present in most tissues characteristically surrounding blood vessels and nerves and are especially prominent near the boundaries between the outside world and the internal milieu such as skin, mucosa of the lungs and digestive tract as well as the mouth, conjunctiva and nose.

Maintaining digestive health is key to the health of your body. Your intestines make up 70% of your immune system called GALT-Gut Associated Lymph Tissue. A healthy gut protects you from bacteria, viruses, parasites and absorbs vitamins and nutrients from your food. When it is not working properly, the result is constipation/diarrhea, allergies, stomach pain and bloating and acid reflux. This is why when people are traveling to foreign places, we suggest they take HCl and enzymes at their meals and we also recommend ADP (Biotics Research’s emulsified oregano oil) to keep them safe from the buggies. We have never had a single person who has followed this regime come back from a trip and say they got sick.

So your immune system starts in the gut! AND usually… food allergies, sensitivities, colitis as well as airborne or contact (skin) eg. eczema, psoriasis and skin rashes are related to digestive/immune problems.

It’s time to consider what are you eating?

Is your diet high in histamine/inflammatory producing foods? The standard western diet is usually the culprit in histamine/inflammatory conditions. http://theconsciouslife.com/top-10-inflammatory-foods-to-avoid.htm/comment-page-3#comment-18149 This blog has some good info regarding these foods so check it out.

The medical approach is symptom based and approaches the problem after the fact instead of being preventative. So they usually tell you to avoid the problem substance and if it’s pollen to stay indoors. That’s not always easy for everyone. Or…they will give you antihistamines, sprays, shots etc., which can be addictive and always have side effects (all drugs do). You can also build up a tolerance to them and need more or they don’t work at all.

Apparently people that choose the allergy shot avenue rarely complete the therapy. Here’s the main reason why…on average there is one shot per week for 6 months. Then every 2 weeks for 4 years…yep…I wouldn’t last either!

Also consider that 40% to 50% of asthma cases reported are actually caused by allergies.

So what do we do? To begin, you should start the prevention 3 months before the allergy season is to begin. This year it was mild weather so it started early. So treatment should start in fall. If you have them now (April), don’t despair as we can help now but be aware that next year you should be on top of it early.

1. Check out the blog above and start avoiding as many mucous forming and inflammatory foods as you can. Unhealthy fats such as trans fats are one inflammatory food…they are too high in Omega 6 so avoid these oils regardless of whether you have allergies or not…corn (can be GMO too), safflower, sunflower, peanut, canola and soybean (another GMO possibility). Trans fats are not allowed in restaurants in BC now BUT they likely are using canola or soybean oils to be cost efficient. Also, refined carbohydrates like flour and sugar that are high on the glycemic index, exacerbate inflammatory conditions. These foods elevate insulin and glucose levels, which raise levels of pro-inflammatory messengers. Intolerance to wheat, gluten and dairy can initiate an inflammatory overflow that starts in the gut but can have far-reaching effects in other systems.

2. Support the Big 5-Stomach, Pancreas, Liver, Gall Bladder and Adrenals. Liver and GB allergies are often a result of an overloaded toxic state within the liver. As the primary organ responsible for processing everything we come in contact with, the liver filters out any toxic components put into the body. If the quantity of a substance entering the bloodstream is too great for the liver to process quickly, the immune system recognizes the molecules as being an allergen and produces antibodies against them. Through the filtering process, the liver plays a substantial role in reducing the effect an established or potential allergen will have on the body. Because histamine is contained in almost all body tissues, especially the lungs, nose, sinuses, skin, intestinal mucosa and certain blood cells (mast and basophils), it is able to cause a wide variety of symptoms, as well as pain and inflammation.

Adrenal function plays an important role in histamine/allergic reactions. Cortisol, one of the primary hormones produced by the adrenal glands, is a strong anti-inflammatory. The amount of cortisol circulating in the blood is a key factor in controlling the level of inflammatory reactions in the body.

Healthy adrenal function plays an important role in mediating the histamine release and inflammatory reactions that produce the symptoms experienced with allergies. If the adrenals are fatigued, it is more difficult to produce the additional amounts of cortisol necessary to counteract the inflammatory allergic reactions. So in other words, increase in adrenal fatigue increases allergies or allergies seem to get worse.

The more histamine is released, the harder the adrenals have to work to produce enough cortisol and the more fatigued they may become. It is common that people with food and environmental allergies tend to experience adrenal fatigue as well. Reduced cortisol allows histamines to inflame the tissues more, leading to deepening adrenal fatigue as well as to bigger allergic reactions. Also, adrenal imbalance will not only prevent cortisol release but interfere with proper sugar handling and the balance between the liver, adrenals and pancreas.

Food allergens can interfere with daily functioning and become a profound stress on your adrenals, so it is important to find and eliminate food sensitivities and allergies in order to both decrease your allergy load and promote adrenal health. Come in for a Zyto food scan and see if you are exhibiting any sensitivities to particular foods.

To support the stomach, supplement at meals with HCl as most people have too little hydrochloric acid to break down their food. It is very rare to have too much acid BUT it may feel like you have too much if you have symptoms of acid reflux. Medically, drugs that reduce stomach acid are given which in the long run, makes things worse. We use Biotics Research Hydrozyme which has HCl and enzymes or HCl+ which is straight HCl. From Standard Process the product of choice is Zypan. Also, see our link for Dr. Whitaker’s digestive complex.

For the pancreas, again, lack of digestive enzymes will allow an inflammatory process to remain in the gut and small intestines and allow a malabsorption environment to continue.

So here are some other products to consider: Cytozyme AD or ADHS for the adrenals (Biotics), Histoplex AB (Biotics) for acute allergies (so those of you that are suffering now, this is a good option along with some HCl+.) Also, consider the link to Dr. Lark’s Energy Vitalizer to help boost adrenals. Another item we can get is a called Allergen 11 from BioActives. It is a homeopathic remedy that can be taken under the tongue and also, a dropperful can be put into a sprizter bottle of about 4 oz purified water and sprayed into the air and you just breathe it in. It’s really great to use before heading out to the garden etc.

Another thing that could be helpful is acidophilus for the gut flora so consider BioDoph 7 from Biotics which is a pre and pro biotic or have a look at the link to Dr. William’s Probiotic Advantage. Anything we suggest from Standard Process or Biotics must be ordered by phone (778-788-4325) or email as these companies require that their products are recommended by a doctor. The other products mentioned, can be ordered via the links on the side bar. Another option is the Allergy TheraEx BioApps. 2 appsWear on the left upper arm and change every 3 days. http://www.bioappscanada.com for more info.

Enter our FaceBook contest to win a bottle of Histoplex AB and HCl+…your basic allergy kit. Contest runs to the end of April 2013.

What’s a GMO?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.

But haven’t growers been grafting trees, breeding animals, and hybridizing seeds for years?

Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding and carries unique risks.

In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile. A horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile.

With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits that would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting.

GMOs in Foods:

What kinds of traits have been added to food crops?

Although there are attempts to increase nutritional benefits or productivity, the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.

Herbicide tolerance lets the farmer spray weed-killer directly on the crop without killing it.

Crops such as Bt cotton produce pesticides inside the plant. This kills or deters insects, saving the farmer from having to spray pesticides. The plants themselves are toxic, and not just to insects. Farmers in India, who let their sheep graze on Bt cotton plants after the harvest, saw thousands of sheep die!

Why do genetically engineered foods have antibiotic resistant genes in them?

The techniques used to transfer genes have a very low success rate, so the genetic engineers attach “marker genes” that are resistant to antibiotics to help them to find out which cells have taken up the new DNA. These marker genes are resistant to antibiotics that are commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Some scientists believe that eating GE food containing these marker genes could encourage gut bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance.

What are the problems created through genetic engineering of food and crops?

Genetic engineers continually encounter unintended side effects. GM plants create toxins, react to weather differently, contain too much or too little nutrients, become diseased or malfunction and die. When foreign genes are inserted, dormant genes may be activated or the functioning of genes altered, creating new or unknown proteins, or increasing or decreasing the output of existing proteins inside the plant. The effects of consuming these new combinations of proteins are unknown.

What foods are GM?

Currently commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres).

What are other sources of GMOs?

Products derived from the above, including oils from all four, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup among others. Also:

  • meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed (and the majority of the GM corn and soy is used for feed);
  • dairy products from cows injected with rbGH (a GM hormone) take note that rbGH has been banned in Canada but we do receive imported cheeses and dairy products from the US;
  • food additives, enzymes, flavourings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet) and rennet used to make hard cheeses; and
  • honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen.

The Health Dangers:

What are the potential dangers of eating GM foods?

There are a number of dangers that broadly fall into the categories of potential toxins, allergens, carcinogens, new diseases, antibiotic resistant diseases, and nutritional problems.

View all 65 health risks of GM foods, excerpted from Jeffrey Smith’s comprehensive book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

Hasn’t research shown GM foods to be safe?

No. The only feeding study done with humans showed that GMOs survived inside the stomach of the people eating GMO food. No follow-up studies were done.

Various feeding studies in animals have resulted in potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates.

But aren’t the plants chemically the same, whether or not they are GM?

Most tests can’t determine the differences at the level of the DNA. And, even if they appear to be the same, eyewitness reports from all over North American describe how several types of animals, including cows, pigs, geese, elk, deer, squirrels, and rats, when given a choice, avoid eating GM foods.

Haven’t people been eating GM foods without any ill effect?

The biotech industry says that millions have been eating GM foods without ill effect. This is misleading. No one monitors human health impacts of GM foods. If the foods were creating health problems in the US population, it might take years or decades before we identified the cause.

What indications are there that GM foods are causing problems?

Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50 percent.

In March 2001, the Center for Disease Control reported that food is responsible for twice the number of illnesses in the U.S. compared to estimates just seven years earlier. This increase roughly corresponds to the period when Americans have been eating GM food.

Without follow-up tests, which neither the industry nor government are doing, we can’t be absolutely sure if genetic engineering was the cause.

What about GM hormones in milk?

Milk from rBGH-treated cows contains an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer, but no one is tracking this in relation to cancer rates. Thankfully rBGH was banned in Canada but we do import products containing this hormone from the US.

Why do genetically engineered foods have antibiotic resistant genes in them?

The techniques used to transfer genes have a very low success rate, so the genetic engineers attach “marker genes” that are resistant to antibiotics to help them to find out which cells have taken up the new DNA. That way scientist can then douse the experimental GMO in antibiotics and if it lives, they have successful altered the genes. The marker genes are resistant to antibiotics that are commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Some scientists believe that eating GE food containing these marker genes could encourage gut bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance.

But is there any documented instance of adverse effects of GMOs on people?

One epidemic was rare, serious, and fast acting, and therefore more easily discovered. Called EMS, it was traced to a GM brand of the food supplement L-tryptophan. In the 1980’s, the contaminated brand killed about 100 Americans and caused sickness or disability in about 5,000-10,000 others.

Why are children particularly susceptible to the effects of GM foods?

Children face the greatest risk from the potential dangers of GM foods for the same reasons that they also face the greatest risk from other hazards like pesticides and radiation, these include:

  • Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most.
  • Children are more susceptible to allergies.
  • Children are more susceptible to problems with milk.
  • Children are more susceptible to nutritional problems.
  • Children are in danger from antibiotic resistant diseases.

How dangerous, or potentially dangerous, are GM foods relative to other food dangers, e.g., pesticides, irradiation, additives, preservatives?

Since so little research has been done on the safety of GM foods, it is not possible to rank its risks. Unlike the others, GM crops persist in the environment, and may continue to pose risks to health for centuries.

In addition, transfer of transgenes to gut bacteria may present long-term chronic exposure, since the foreign protein may continue to be produced inside of us after we no longer consume the GM food.

Our patient Lucy Nickel provided this information and she (and we) invite you to like GMO Free Canadas page. Here you will find more information: https://www.facebook.com/GMOFreeCanadaGroup

It is really a very urgent matter, our children and futures are in great trouble if this continues. We need to wake as many people up as we can. There is a big debate going on right now on Vancouver Island to get GMOs banned! Here is a petition if you’d like to sign and share.  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/648/428/554/declare-Vancouver-island-a-GE-free-zone/  or find a way to make an impact in your area.

Please check out this site as well: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-education
Monsanto is one of the worst offenders…
bestmeal.info/monsanto/company-history.shtml

Monsanto‘s dark company history of polluting the planet with agent orange, RoundUp GMOs, DDT, PCBs, dioxin, aspartame, rBST rBGH milk Posilac shots + most of your …

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