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Allergies-and-Sleep-The-Allergy-Co

Allergies and Sleep

Allergies and sleep.

Allergies and sensitivities have an impact on many aspects of our health and are often overlooked when seeking to determine the causes for our health concerns.

Over the last 12 years I have had many clients who come in complaining that nothing they do seems to really resolve their sleep issues. Frequently they have been forced to resort to sleeping pills from their doctor in order to finally get the sleep they need.

Food Allergies and Sleep

In many of these cases I have found that food allergies and sensitivities are a large part of the problem.
They can cause
• increased anxiety and restlessness
• an inability to fall asleep
• difficulty staying asleep

When eating certain foods clients may find that they experience a faster than usual pulse rate, thirst, excessive urination, sweats and even shivering. They may experience dreams and nightmares or complain that their brain “just won’t shut off”.
Common foods linked to these problems include cow’s milk products, artificial additives and colours in foods, MSG and the night shade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.
There is some truth in the old wives’ tale that eating cheese before bed causes nightmares!

Of course, if your food allergies are causing you to experience digestive issues such as cramping, gas, reflux or indigestion then this too will affect your sleep.
They can also lead to inflammation and pain in the body making sleeping uncomfortable.
In my practice I often find cow’s milk, wheat and corn to be triggers for digestive issues, inflammation and body pain.

If you suspect that food allergies may be a cause of your sleep issues, try removing the common triggers of wheat, milk products, artificial additives and night shade vegetables for a week and see if that helps.

Environmental Allergies and Sleep

Food allergies, along with environmental allergens such as pollens, dust and dust mites, moulds, pets and feathers can trigger sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, itchy eyes, sore throats and cough, leading to poor sleep. In this case it is hard to avoid the triggers, but you can reduce them by avoiding feather pillows, using protective covers on your mattress and pillows, and removing carpets from the bedroom.

You could also seek treatment from a Natural allergist or NAET practitioner who can effectively eliminate the allergies.

Electro-magnetic Frequencies (EMF) and Sleep

Another area to consider is the large presence of Electro-magnetic radiation in our modern world.
We are literally bombarded, sources including TVs and cell phones, wifi routers, bedside clocks, smart meters, household wiring and electrical outlets in the wall. Just as an example, at my work place I can pick up 32 different wifi networks from surrounding businesses and condos.

These electro-magnetic frequencies can have a stimulant effect on your body and mind. You may want to remove all electronic devices from your bedroom and make sure that your bed is positioned such that you are sleeping at least 5 feet away from them; whether they are in your bedroom, the other side of a wall or in the room above or below.
If this is not possible then make sure they are switched off and unplugged from their power source.
For at least 2 hours prior to bed try to avoid using electronic devices, especially phones, computers and games, and preferably TVs too. This gives your body and brain time to calm down and prepare for sleep.

So, to summarize, allergies and sensitivities can play a big part in your insomnia. I have only touched the surface here so come and see me to find out more about how these are affecting you.

Stop guessing and get the answers you need!

cure-sore-muscles-with-nutrition-the-allergy-co-ottawa

Cure Sore Muscles with Nutrition

Have you ever considered that one of the simplest ways to cure sore muscles can be with diet and nutrition?

There are many reasons for sore muscles, however, when considering body aches and pains, including sore muscles and joints, this can be the first, and best, place to start. It is so often the root of the problem and so easy to fix!

There are many so called “cures” out there that simply deal with the symptoms without getting to the root of the issue.. Of course if you have a hard workout it is normal to be a little stiff and sore afterwards, however, this should pass quickly and not be an everyday, chronic problem.

Relating sore muscles to nutrition

I am an avid learner, and was delighted to come across the International College of Applied Kinesiology many years ago.

Applied Kinesiology (AK), as taught by ICAK, relates the neuromuscular function to the structural, chemical and neurological regulatory mechanisms. Which, simply put, relates the function of your muscles to structural balance (the physical functioning of your body, the skeletal and muscular systems), chemical balance (allergies, toxins, nutrition) and the mental / emotional.

Using this wonderful tool it is possible to determine the reason why a particular muscle is not able to function to its best.

So, how to cure sore muscles..

Working out, along with specific exercises will, of course, strengthen muscles, and stretching help you to remain supple. But are your muscles functioning at their best?

AK looks at the possible reasons that muscles are working at a sub-optimal level. It considers 3 main aspects: there needs to correct alignment of your musculoskeletal system, their needs to be no toxins or allergies that effectively ‘poison’ your muscles, and their needs to be enough fuel, i.e nutrition.

Each muscles is considered to need specific nutrition. Not enough of that nutrient and the muscle just cannot work as well as it could. In this case working out can actually make you less strong and potentially cause injury.

Here are a few of the bigger muscle groups and the nutrients they require.

Psoas

The big core muscle that connects the lower (lumbar) back to the thigh bone (femur), or the tenderloin in a  beef cow. It supports the low back.

Nutrition: water, Vit E, Vit A

 

Gluteals

You butt muscles. Connecting the pelvis to the thigh bone (femur) and the IT band they have a huge role to play supporting us and for standing, walking, running, jumping etc.

Nutrition: Vit E, Niacinamide (Vit B3)

 

Quadratus Lumborum

This is one of your main low back muscles, attaching the bottom rib, your lumbar (low back) vertebrae, and your pelvis.

Nutrition: Vit A, Vit C, Vit E

 

Hamstrings

These are the big group of muscles down the back of your thigh. They connect the ischial tuberosity (your sitting bone) to the fibula and tibia (the 2 bones in your lower leg). They flex (bend) your knee, and extend (straighten) your hip, and are essential for supporting your low back, hip, and knee.

Nutrition: Vit E, calcium

 

Quadriceps

The big muscles down the front of your thigh connecting the pelvis to the tibia (the main bone in your lower leg). This large group of muscles supports you hips, and particularly the knee.

Nutrition: Vit D, Vit B complex

 

Tensor fascia latae

Joining the iliac crest (the top part of your pelvis at the waist) to the greater trochanter (the bone you can feel on the outside of your hip) and also the IT band which runs down from there to your knee. Supporting the back, hip and knee.

Nutrition: Vit D, iron. In particular, a deficiency of iron causing this muscle to lack function, is one of the main reasons for back pain in pregnant women.

 

Cure sore muscles with nutrition

When you consider how these big, supporting muscles rely on specific nutrition it makes sense to consider this as one possible cause for your sore muscles.

A simple blood test from your Family doctor or Naturopathic Doctor can assess your levels of many nutrients. It is also possible to test for these and more using AK. My basic Allergy Test will assess these along with allergies, intolerances, emotional issues, structural imbalance and any infection / parasite.

Once a deficiency is identified dietary changes or nutritional supplements can be used to address the issue. I have had many clients who have experienced great relief from back, hip and knee pain, and from general achy, sore muscles once they start on a suitable program to address their deficiencies.

Vit A, Vit B, Vit C, Vit D, Vit E, calcium, iron and water mentioned above are just a start. There are other nutrients which have equal importance to other major muscles in your body.

Conclusion

If you are experiencing chronic pain or soreness, struggling to recover from an injury or just have tired muscles, assessing nutritional levels may be a simple way to cure sore muscles.

Book a free discovery session with me to find out more.

A cure for seasonal allergies The Allergy Co

A Cure for Seasonal Allergies?

A cure for seasonal allergies The Allergy CoMany of us suffer from allergies, whether seasonal allergies or all year round. Allergies can be of a physical nature or associated with underlying emotional issues.

The medical profession will provide testing to identify your allergies but is of little use when offering solutions. They are limited to meds to control symptoms and allergy shots (immunotherapy), both of which can bring relief but do not tackle the underlying issues.

Using the meds is a little like taking your car to the garage because a warning light shows up on the dash and the mechanic simply turning off the light without fixing the underlying problem.

And the shots are painful, time consuming and usually need to repeated over many years.

The only other option is to avoid the allergens, easier said than done if you react to environmental allergens such as dust or moulds or have seasonal allergies!

So, how can you treat seasonal allergies?

There are a number of natural allergy treatments available, some more effective than others. NAET is one of them.

This system was developed by Dr Devi Nambudripad when she was seeking a solution to her own severe and numerous allergies. It basically teaches your body to be non-reactive in the presence of the allergens. It can be used to treat foods, environmental allergens, electro-magnetic frequencies and even reactions to weather patterns, and is usually permanent.

My personal experience with this modality began in 2003. I had suffered with various allergies for many years, and was ready to try anything. Despite the mixed reviews of this method I decided to give it a go. I was impressed to find that having been treated and pronounced clear of the allergens I no longer reacted to any of them.

And.. I still don’t react, 12 years later! This is also my experience with clients – once they are cleared for an allergen it does not become a problem again.

How does it work?

This Natural Allergy Treatment is painless, non-invasive and effective. It uses acupressure (usually finger pressure), working with the principles of acupuncture and works with your body to switch off the reaction. The body learns that it can be in balance, harmony, and non-reactive when exposed to the allergens. This treatment has even been proven effective for severe and anaphylactic allergies.

Treating seasonal allergies

The first step is Natural Allergy Testing to identify which of the environmental allergens you are reacting to, this includes things such as ragweed, flower and tree pollens, grasses, dust, mould, pets, household chemicals and perfumes and more. The allergens are then treated until they test as cleared.

The traditional NAET protocol has a strict order for treating allergens and will only consider one at a time, however, for seasonal allergies I have found it most effective to be guided by what your body wants. This involves treating as many of the environmental allergens as the body requests in one group. This group of allergens then takes 2 – 3 sessions to clear.

How much does it cost?

The allergy treatments take 15-30 minutes each, and the total cost to treat seasonal allergies is typically less than $400. Once cleared you will no longer need to be paying out for meds.

One of my clients writes:

“I was always short of breath, increased difficulty just going up the stairs. I was tested for allergies and it ended up I was allergic to multiple things …. I was treated and now I started playing hockey and running again. I barely use my puffers, and I am rarely sick even though I work in hospital setting” 

Book a complementary discovery session with me to find out more about this truly life changing treatment.

Milk Allergy in Children 5 Signs The Allergy Co

Milk Allergy in Children – 5 signs and symptoms

Does your child have a milk allergy?

We hear a lot on TV and in social media about making sure to “get enough milk”, and how good a glass of milk is with every meal..

The truth is, whether we are adults or children, we do not need milk products in our diet to be healthy. We can get all the necessary nutrition from other foods. In addition to which milk allergy is very common and consuming milk products can bring a wide range of health issues.

Allergy or sensitivity?

Allergies typically cause a fairly immediate reaction such as runny nose, sneezing, hives, vomiting, diarrhoea and possibly anaphylaxis. Sensitivities on the other hand produce a delayed reaction that can take several days to show up. I might also refer to this as an intolerance. This is more difficult to spot due to the delay in the reaction.

At the end of the day, it does not make much difference whether it is an allergy or sensitivity, either way your child will be better off avoiding the offending food. Both can lead to discomfort, affect nutritional levels, and impact your child’s development.

One of the most common food allergies and sensitivities I see is a milk allergy. Your child may react to the sugar (lactose) and / or the protein (casein) in the milk, and some of the signs are not obviously linked to what they are eating.

The symptoms may start at a very young age due to your child being exposed to milk products through your breast milk. As a child graduates to solid food they are often given milk to drink, yoghurt and cheese. As a child gets older the symptoms may decrease. This can usually be attributed to the fact that the child is no longer drinking cups or bottles of milk, and a larger part of their diet is non-milk.

Here are 5 groups of symptoms that would lead me to suspect milk allergy.

1.Digestive upset

This is maybe the most obvious group of symptoms.

Colic, spitting up

Nausea, vomiting

Diarrhoea; may be greenish, smellly

Gas and bloating

Abdominal pain, tummy aches

2.Hyperactivity and sleep problems

I see many children in my practice who do not sleep well leading to irritability, temper tantrums and exhausted parents.

It is not unusual that removing milk products from their diet brings almost complete relief, in some cases going from just a few hours of sleep a night to a straight 10 hours within a few days of removing the milk.

3.Skin Conditions

When the body breaks out in a rash, hives, eczema, or the skin is either dry or just itchy it is trying to tell you something. One of the most common causes for this irritation is milk.

4.Respiratory issues

Even if your child does not have an allergy or sensitivity to milk it is generally mucous forming.

It is not unusual that asthma, cough, frequent colds, congestion, sinusitis and ear infections are linked to a milk allergy. I have a number of clients who were prepared to take their child to have their adenoids or tonsils removed who found that by removing milk products from the diet the symptoms improved and surgery was no longer necessary.

5.Failure to thrive

This is a little more difficult to spot. You may find that your child has black rings under their eyes, looks tired, lacks energy, is frequently unwell, tends not to gain weight or has excess weight for no obvious reason. They may have issues concentrating or mild to moderate learning difficulties.

If your child is drinking a lot of milk they may also have low iron levels as the calcium in the milk interferes with the uptake of iron from food. I had a recent 11yr old male client who was lethargic, unmotivated, had back and knee aches and a tendency to be quite plump. I tested him as being low in iron, and a blood test from his family doctor showed that he was borderline anaemic. He had been drinking a big glass of milk at every meal and at bedtime. This also meant that he was not eating a proper amount of food due to being full up with the milk.

Elimination diet to test for a milk allergy

Remove the milk for at least 3-4weeks. Monitor your child’s symptoms.

Try reintroducing one type of milk product over a week or so and see what happens.

You can then determine the level of tolerance, and which products are better or worse.

Switching to lactose free products may help, however, frequently the issue is the milk protein which will still be present so it best to remove ALL milk products.

This means milk (including chocolate milk), cheeses, yoghurt, cream, icecream, and milk in products such as chocolate, desserts, cakes and baked goods, flavoured crackers and chips.. and more – read the labels on things you buy.

It is important to remember that the reaction may not appear immediately, so you need to think about what your child ate 2, 3 or even 4 or more days ago. A food and symptom diary can be helpful for this.

Conclusion

At times medical interventions such as surgeries and medications are necessary. However, if you suspect a milk allergy or sensitivity you may want to remove milk products from your child’s diet first to see if that is the underlying cause for the issues.

To find out more, or determine whether your child does have a milk allergy, seek the advice of your Family Doctor, Naturopathic Doctor or Natural Allergist.

I also offer Allergy testing, for children from newborn and up, for milk and other foods to which they may be reacting.

Is your child sick all the time?

It is normal for a child to get sick. In fact it is a good thing!

Exposure to viruses and other bugs helps their immune system to develop and to learn what is a threat and what is not.

When a child starts day care or school they are exposed to many viruses and bugs that their immune system has never contacted before. This will also happen when their younger sibling first goes to day care or school, and, probably, the adults in the house will also catch the bug!

For the first 6 months or so your child has the immunity passed on to them from their mother. This immunity decays over time and their body has to start to produce its own antibodies to viruses and other bugs which means that until this happens, your child will get sick all the time…

It is important to remember that your child is not sick from having wet feet or hair, or playing outside in the cold, or even getting chilled. They have to be exposed to a virus or microbe which then multiples in our bodies. 

Some research shows that being exposed to adverse conditions such as cold actually strengthens our bodies and immune system.

Colds and other viruses are more prevalent in winter because we spend more time indoors, with windows closed and in close company of others. An ideal situation for sharing the viruses around.

When should you seek medical advice?

Generally you do not need to be concerned about your child having a cold unless your child has a high fever, a moderate fever that lasts more than 24-48hrs, they become dehydrated, or a develop a secondary infection such as sinusitis or bronchitis. Parenting has more information on this.

If you are concerned about your sick child you can always seek medical advice. You can do this over the phone at Telehealth Ontario.

And, of course, if your child has difficulty breathing, has seizures, or you suspect your child may be seriously ill take them to hospital or call 911 immediately.

Treating colds and other bugs.

Not much can be done to help your child fight a cold or other virus, or even a stomach upset, it just takes time. Keep them warm, well hydrated and try to get them into the fresh air making sure to keep them well wrapped up if its cold out.

Antibiotics do not treat viruses, but may be indicated if your child develops a secondary infection such as a chest or sinus infection.

Removing the tonsils or adenoids will also not stop your child getting sick. By removing them you can reduce symptoms, however that is all you are doing, reducing symptoms, you are not addressing the underlying cause of why your child is sick all the time.

Should I keep my sick child out of school?

As long as any fever has been gone for at least 24 hours, and their symptoms such as coughing is not enough to disturb other children they should be sent back to school as soon as possible. It may, however, be necessary to keep them out of physical activity until they feel up to it.

In conclusion

It is very normal, and even beneficial for your child to get sick several times a year. However, if they are sick more often, it takes them longer to recover, or they have recurrent secondary infections you should seek medical advice.

You may also wish to consult a Naturopathic Doctor or a Functional or Integrative Medical Doctor who can look more deeply into possible underlying causes that may be impacting their immune system.

Food Allergies and Infertility - The Allergy Co

Food Allergies and Infertility

There is nothing more upsetting for a couple who have decided it is time to start a family than to fail to conceive. There are many reasons why conception may be challenging.

In order to optimise the chances of conceiving and having a healthy, successful pregnancy we need to be at our best, physically, nutritionally, and emotionally.

One possible cause of infertility, food allergies, is often overlooked when addressing infertility in both men and women.

Inflammation

Food allergies trigger the immune system and, therefore, increase inflammation and histamine levels.

The hormones involved in the reproductive system are very finely balanced. The presence of inflammation will have an impact on that balance, disrupting the cycle. Histamine has been shown to stimulate ovulation, however, too much will cause the egg to be immature when released.

Inflammation also affects the quality of the mucous in the vagina and around the cervix. The mucous contains a carbohydrate based food to fuel the sperm and is essential in providing an environment that is the correct pH for the sperm. Along with this the fallopian tubes can become damaged affecting the ability to conceive.

Gut Health

The greater part of our immune system, around 65%, is found in the intestinal tract. When our microbiome, the gut bacteria and other microbes, are out of balance, and we have gut dysbiosis, Histamine can be elevated. There may be an excess of histamine producing bacteria, or SIBO (Small intestine bacterial overgrowth), a condition where the bacteria from the large intestine migrate up into the small intestine. SIBO will impair the effectiveness of the enzyme Diamine Oxidase, DAO, which destroys histamine.

Auto-immune response

When the body is reacting to allergens in food our immune system is over active. A fetus is effectively a foreign body, the immune system perceives it as threat, an invader, and will be triggered to attack. To counteract this, the uterus secretes cells to interrupt this immune response, however, they will be less effective when we have an over-active immune system which is being stimulated by allergies.

In addition, Celiac can trigger what is called Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS). This is occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks some of the normal proteins in your blood. During pregnancy APS may result in blood clots forming in the placenta affecting blood flow and nutrients available to the developing baby. This can result in a miscarriage.

In men with celiac it has been found that sperm shape can be altered, causing them to be less mobile and viable.

Nutrition

As mentioned above, food allergies impact the health of our digestive tract. They damage the structure of the gut lining and change the type and number of bacteria present, some of which disrupt or inhibit digestion and absorption.

For some people symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation are evident, in others there may be few or no obvious digestive symptoms. In all cases though, they will affect our ability to digest and absorb nutrients from food. In particular B12, fats, and fat soluble vitamins such as A, D and E. It is also important to ensure enough selenium, zinc, folic acid (Vit B9). Talk to your Nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor about testing for nutrition and advice on any dietary supplements you may require.

Allergy medications

Allergy medications are usually anti-histamines. If you are trying to conceive it is important to know that there is a growing amount of evidence to suggest that they reduce fertility and the ability to conceive. A certain amount of histamine is required to ensure that the fetus implants into the uterus.

In addition, some research seems to indicate that anti-histamines reduce blood flow to the embryo. In addition, Research is still being conducted into whether allergy meds are related to birth defects. Some studies suggest there is a link.

Do You Have Food Allergies?

Food allergies can manifest in many ways, and affect almost any system in the body so it not always easy to identify them as causing health issues. Just some of the health concerns that can be triggered by allergies include:

Digestion: Stomach pain, Diarrhoea, Constipation, Gas, Bloating, Canker sores
Skin: Rashes, Eczema, Itching, Dryness, Cracked heels
Pain: Headaches, Muscle or Joint Pain, Cramping, Stiffness
Respiratory: Post nasal drip, Chronic cough, Sore throat, Tonsillitis, Sinus problems, Ear infections
Emotional / Mental Health: Attention Deficit, ADD / ADHD, Memory loss,Depression, Anxiety
Weight gain / loss
Immune system: Frequent Illness, difficulty getting over illness
Hormones: Menstrual cycle disorders, Infertility, Thyroid issues, Fatigue

 

Conclusion

If you are trying to conceive, it is worth investigating any food allergies that may be holding you back. For both men and women, addressing food allergies in your diet will increase your chances of successful conception and pregnancy.

Book a Free introductory meeting with me or talk to your Naturopathic doctor or Functional Medicine Practitioner to find out more.