allergies

4 Steps To Getting Rid Of Seasonal Allergies

“Dr. Hyman, I’ve been suffering from seasonal allergies for years,” writes this week’s house call. “Is there anything that I can do to make these go away or am I doomed forever?”

You are definitely not doomed; however, I do know how miserable seasonal allergies can be, especially in the spring and summer.

Conventional medicine treats seasonal allergies with injections and pills, which unfortunately, create side effects and fail to address the root problem. If you don’t address the root cause, then the allergies will never go away.

I’ve seen countless patients arrive complaining about gut issues. Once we fixed their diets and healed their guts, their seasonal allergies also disappeared!  When the immune system (60 percent of which is in the gut) is irritated, it reacts to everything – kind of like when you don’t get enough sleep everything makes you more irritable.

One patient struggled with allergies, asthma and hives. She almost nearly died twice from anaphylaxis. She arrived in my office on 42 different pills, sprays and inhalers; yet, she still felt awful. These drugs were suppressing and inhibiting her immune function, causing her body to attack everything. None of her doctors had questioned why her immune system was so compromised in the first place.  But due to my Functional Medicine approach, that’s the first question I asked.

Turned out, she had leaky gut that was triggered by celiac disease, a gluten-related autoimmune disease. Until that point, nobody had actually tested her for this condition! When we eliminated gluten and other dietary allergens, we healed her leaky gut and calmed down her allergies. Thankfully, after six weeks she was able to stop the 42 medications she used daily.

For her and countless other patients, a key strategy involves getting your gut healthy. After all, an unhealthy, inflamed gut can’t fight off potential allergens. To do that and eliminate seasonal allergies, I’ve found these four strategies incredibly helpful.

  1. Replace bad with good. An elimination diet becomes the first step for a healthy gut. The simple foundation of Functional Medicine is taking out the bad and putting in the good. Eliminate common toxic triggers like wheat, corn, dairy, soy and alcohol. Eat a whole foods, high-fiber diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory plant chemicals called phytonutrients. Avoid anything that contains sugar or trans fats. Focus on eating healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocados and omega-3 fats like those found in small fish (sardines, herring, sable, wild-caught salmon). I provide an easy-to-implement plan in my book Eat Fat, Get Thin.
  2. Use powerful gut-healing nutrients — including probiotics, which provide good bacteria to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Other gut-healing nutrients include glutamine, zinc, curcumin and fish oil. I always recommend a high-quality multivitamin. Quercetin (which has anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties) and nettles can also relieve symptoms from allergies. You can find these and other allergy-relieving supplements in my store.
  3. Manage stress. A mind-body disconnect can mean being stressed out, wired and tired and can really damage your gut and worsen seasonal allergies. Practice relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation every day.
  4. Get adequate sleep. Optimal sleep is crucial for gut health and overall health.  Research shows inadequate sleep shortens your lifespan and increases inflammation, which can lead to chronic disease. Insufficient sleep can also increase your risk for diabetes through insulin resistance, paving the way for diabesity. Aim for at least eight hours of uninterrupted, deep sleep every night. To help meet that quota, check out my eight simple hacks for a better night’s sleep.

Occasionally, I’ll have a patient who has tried all these things and still suffers. In those cases, we need to dig a little deeper for other causes such as food additives, pesticides, chemicals and pollution in their environment. You should also check for mold in your home or work — check out this site to learn more. 

Also, consider a very important blood test called C-reactive protein, which measures the degree of hidden inflammation in your body. Almost every modern disease is caused by or affected by hidden inflammation, including heart disease, cancer, obesity, dementia, arthritis, autoimmune disease, allergies and digestive disorders.

Chronic inflammation that contributes to seasonal allergies and much more can come from many sources, including:

  • A high-sugar, processed-foods diet
  • Inflammatory fats like omega 6 fats found in processed vegetable oils and trans fat
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Hidden or chronic infections, such as viruses, bacteria, yeasts or parasites, mold and other environmental allergens
  • Toxicity from an overload of environmental toxins

Ultimately, lifestyle choices and how we care for our bodies and souls is not part of our education, values or even our daily planning; yet, these basic skills form the root cause of our happiness and health.

While these principles are disarmingly simple, even the best and brightest people fail to make the connection between how we treat our bodies and how we feel. Most of us never learned how to care for and feed our bodies and souls. A few simple acts implemented into your daily life could change everything, including seasonal allergies.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/4-steps-to-getting-rid-of-seasonal-allergies_us_577540dae4b0ac648ac7f1a4

ENERGY

Tired All the Time? Try These 8 Natural Energy Boosters

You don’t have to feel drained on a daily basis. Here’s how to keep your energy tank full. If you’re running low right now, try these instant pick-me-ups.

If you’re tired all the time you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have gone so far as to call Americans’ lack of sleep a “public health epidemic.” Chronic fatigue is also related to a variety of medical conditions including autoimmune disease, thyroid disorders, depression, and anemia. Combine any of these possibilities with long hours at work and it’s no surprise you’re reaching for a third cup of coffee by 3 o’clock. But there are other natural ways to boost energy that will provide a more sustainable lift and won’t compromise your ability to wind down in the evening so you can finally get the rest you need. Read on for a few research-supported strategies to stay energized all day long.

Balance your carb consumption. That afternoon slump may happen because you’re bored at work, but more than likely it has a lot to do with what you just ate for lunch. Your body and brain need food for fuel, but when a lot of the calories you consume come from carbohydrates—such as the bread used in sandwiches or a hearty bowl of pasta—you may start to feel sleepy about an hour after eating. Carbohydrates are absorbed into your blood stream almost immediately after eating. Right after a carb-heavy meal your blood sugar will experience a big surge then, when all the carbs are used up, your blood sugar will plummet, bringing on that feeling of fatigue. However, calories that come from fiber, fat, and protein take longer to release. For even all-day energy, eat a mix of nutrients at each meal and snack, including plenty of fiber-rich veggies and fruits, lean proteins such as chicken or beans, and some healthy fat, such as that found in avocados and olive oil.

Related: The Surprising Reasons You’re Not Sleeping Well

Sniff some mint. Have you ever noticed that spas tend to smell of flowers such as lavender and ylang ylang? Studies show that these scents increase calmness, which is right for that setting. If you were to look for an essential oil that had the opposite effect—one that made you more energized and alert—choose peppermint. This distinct odor has the opposite effect of soothing essential oils, although it’s still a pleasant scent. Peppermint can even enhance your memory, according to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience.

Take in more B12. Even if you eat a balanced diet, you may be deficient in important nutrients. If you’re feeling sluggish, try increasing your intake of vitamin B12. This vitamin is naturally found in animal-derived foods like meat, fish, poultry, and dairy, which explains why many vegetarians and vegans may not get enough through diet alone. (Vitamin B12 is also important for anemia prevention.) Vitamin B12 supplements can be found in the vitamin aisle of most grocery stores; you can take this vitamin on its own or in a blend of other B vitamins.

Go to yoga or take a walk. It may seem like being active will only make you feel more tired and it can be true—going to an intense bootcamp class may make you want to take a nap. But engaging in low or moderate activity—such as a short walk or a yoga session—can boost energy levels, according to an article from the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. This sort of exercise is enough to increase your circulation—and with it the blood and oxygen flow to your body and brain—without actually tiring you out. The next time you feel fatigued but you really need to be awake, try it out: Go on a brisk 10- or 20-minute walk and see how you feel after. Chances are you’ll be much more awake than when you left. For a quick yoga pick-me-up try some repetitions of Sun Salutation A, demonstrated in the video above.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sonimacom/tired-all-the-time-try-th_b_10819808.html

sleep

Sleep Problems Tied to Diabetes in Men

Men who do not get enough sleep — or get too much — may have an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Researchers studied 788 healthy men and women participating in a larger health study, measuring their sleep duration using electronic monitors and testing them for markers of diabetes — how well pancreatic cells take up glucose and how sensitive the body’s tissues are to insulin. The study is in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The average sleep time for both men and women was about seven hours. As the men diverged from the average, in either direction, their glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity decreased, gradually increasing the deleterious health effects. There was no such association in women.

The researchers weren’t sure why men but not women showed this association but caution that this was a cross-sectional study, a snapshot of one moment in time, and that they draw no conclusions about cause and effect.

The lead author, Femke Rutters, an assistant professor at the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, said that it is easy to advise men to get regular and sufficient sleep, but because so many lifestyle and health factors may contribute to poor sleep, acting on that advice is much harder.

“There has been a lot of observational work on sleep, but trying to change it is difficult,” she said. “Ideally, men should try for regular sleep.”

Source: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/05/sleep-problems-tied-to-diabetes-in-men/?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&_r=0