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treating allergies

  • No one who responds to seasonal allergens looks forward to spring, especially when the tree pollens begin flying. That said, you can minimize or eliminate—as I did—allergic responses to airborne triggers by taking simple steps you may not have considered. In addition, using a proprietary homeopathic remedy to not only rid yourself of symptoms but to take proactively before the season is well on its way, is your best "insurance." AND, March is the time to begin that therapy.

    More than thirty years ago I relocated from California to Northern Idaho. I never had seasonal allergies in California and I lived in both the southern and northern parts of the state. I didn't give any thought to protecting myself from, or that I'd even respond to, airborne pollutants—was I in for a surprise!

    The first spring, around mid-March I found myself with nagging frontal headaches, itchy swollen eyes, post-nasal drip and then by the first of April I developed a full-blown sinus infection with a headache that felt like a sledge hammer landed on my head. I hadn't had a sinus infection in more than twenty years and after trying everything non-drug I finally ended up in the emergency room. The physician that saw me asked if I had a history of sinus infections. After taking a complete history, he commented, "Oh, if you just relocated here you'll always have symptoms and/or infections this time of year with the burning of farm fields at the end of summer, and in the early spring all the pine pollens flying around, just get used to it the rest of the year is beautiful here." I couldn't believe my ears...just get used to it? The only thing he could offer was an antibiotic for the sinus infection and an injection of a steroid (Kenalog) to help with the acute inflammation. Being a doctor of natural health, I KNEW what side effects could ensue but I was in SO much pain I felt I could do anything once, surely without terrible side effects, right? WRONG.

    Yes, my sinus infection cleared up, my head stopped pounding, my eyes were now back to normal albeit I still couldn't wear my contact lens because my eyes became too irritated with the continual barrage of airborne pollens. In addition, I experienced the exact same side effect of the antibiotic that I deal with in my patients...a yeast infection that was painful and itchy. Of course I did, the antibiotic killed ALL the bacteria, good and bad.

    Within approximately four weeks, my hairstylist commented that my hair was coming out in handfuls when she shampooed. I have always been blessed with enough hair for two women but it was becoming thinner and hard to manage. With all the travel I did, I had my hair styled weekly so she was the best barometer of what was occurring with my hair. I never related the hair loss to the Kenalog injection until several patients I consulted with began losing their hair, and in my case history intake I asked about Kenalog or any kind of corticosteroid use. Sure enough, when sudden hair loss began in these patients they had either injectable or oral corticosteroids prescribed for allergies. It is my experience that this drug causes the same symptoms it is meant to treat and many more—some serious. The mystery was solved and I went on with my health detective investigation to formulate a homeopathic to help my body, not only avoid the symptoms by building my natural resistance to airborne pollens and weeds, but to also protect me proactively. The yeast infection was resolved with high potency probiotics of 200 billion microorganisms in one capsule for 14 days and the spring allergies were resolved with the creation of a special homeopathic.

    After consulting with my homeopathic pharmacist, he suggested I get some "un-touched" pollen of every kind possible in my area and send him a petri dish full. Oh great, I had to actually collect the stuff that made me so sick.

    Oh well, a good health detective must endure in whatever terrain they must tread in order to succeed in solving the case, right?

    My clinic was on the second story of a walk-up medical building in Idaho with a wrap-around deck. What happened next is comical now but it wasn't then. My secretary and I climbed on a tall ladder to the huge pine trees hanging over the balcony of the building. Armed with hoods, shields, gloves, and fully covered, we shook the branches until we filled two petri dishes of pollen. (YES, that's what I looked like during my pollen collection safari, go ahead and laugh, I do now).

    Scientifically Speaking
    The pollen was sent to my homeopathic pharmacist to make a remedy because in homeopathic medicine—like cures like— taking some of the offending substance in a homeopathic helps build resistance to the substance and alleviates symptoms. As the years passed and clients raved about its effectiveness we had newer complexes made that now include as many airborne pollens and weeds as available nation-wide as well as some for other countries when clients can send me local pollens and pollutant substances.

    Be Proactive Not Reactive
    After more than thirty years, this proprietary homeopathic formula, Pollen & Weed, is used by thousands worldwide and my patients wouldn't be without it. I use it beginning March 1st every year and all I need is 6 drops under my tongue once daily to avoid any symptoms of spring allergies. If I go to a new area I need to take it 2–3 times daily because my body hasn't yet built immunity to the new species, but this formula still helps me avoid symptoms by stopping them before they cause irritation that can become an infection. I stop taking the remedy about June or when the nasty airborne pollen has subsided. If you don't take the remedy until AFTER you have symptoms you'll need to take 6 drops under the tongue 5–6 times daily until all symptoms subside then you can adjust depending on exposure and symptoms. I call it Nature's Pollen & Weed Solution because it works so well. I even have clients from Brazil, Australia, England, South Africa and Mexico who order it every year because they have been recipients of its benefits.

    After taking the remedy for one entire season, you'll see that you need less and less in subsequent years as your body adjusts and builds its own resistance with the help of the remedy.

    In a later issue, I'll share with you the other homeopathic that necessitated being formulated for dealing with the dampness and mold of fall allergies.

    Other Irritants to Watch For

    Contact lenses
    When pollen counts are high it's best to wear your glasses rather than contact lens. According to David Rosenstreich, MD, director of Allergy and Immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, "If you trap pollen in your eyes and it stays there, you may experience more problems that can lead to infection."

    Soft contact lenses especially are prone to absorbing airborne irritants, like pollen or smoke, because they're permeable. A soft lens lets more oxygen through but can absorb anything in the tears, according to Steven Shanbom, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist in Detroit. If you're set on wearing contacts and don't like hard lenses, you may want to look into disposable ones you can throw out daily to prevent pollen buildup during the season.

    Produce with pollen-like proteins
    If you're sneezing and sniffling, you could also be sensitive to some fruits and vegetables—called oral-allergy syndrome (OAS). The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates up to a third of patients allergic to pollens may be affected. What's apparently to blame is a protein found on the surface of some raw produce, including apples, tomatoes, and cantaloupe—though each pollen allergy has its own set of trigger foods. "Pollen and food proteins are like first cousins, so your body thinks you're swallowing pollen," according to Cliff Bassett, MD, founder of Allergy and Asthma Care in New York City. "This usually leads to symptoms like an itchy throat and mouth as well as cough and post-nasal drip. Peeling produce may help reduce your reaction. Even cooking the produce may help. Just be careful—research shows about 2 percent of people with OAS have symptoms than can progress to potentially life-threatening anaphylactic shock, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

    The homeopathic Pollen & Weed formula is available ONLY from the exclusive source for all products used and recommended by Dr. Gloria—the store at:

    The Way I See It
    Since my specialty includes allergic response syndromes and inflammatory disorders, I am constantly playing health detective with my clients when they experience allergic reactions/responses and this is what I teach my Wholistic Rejuvenist Practitioners. Additionally, many people with existing inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia experience an acceleration of symptoms when, for instance, cantaloupe is consumed. I believe it's the mold that forms on the outer skin because other melons don't seem to "ignite" the same inflammatory responses. I, for one, avoid cantaloupe because it does create some inflammation not previously experienced in those with underlying inflammatory conditions.

    Nature always has a remedy or natural food for us so in my practice, I always use Food as Medicine, Homeopathics and Herbals when possible. Health thru Education™ is my life's passion, sharing information so that our wholistic health reach broadens more each year.

  • There is a definite substantiated connection between allergies and asthma. Studies indicate their underlying mechanisms may even cause each other. Up to 38 percent of patients with allergies have been diagnosed with asthma, and 78 percent of those diagnosed with asthma have allergies. Both as a physician and as a former allergy and asthma sufferer myself, I’ve witnessed the tie between the two conditions.

    I have believed for years they are all related to an overgrowth of a very common organism found in every one of us in our digestive tracts: Candida albicans. In my practice, I routinely and successfully guide allergy and asthma patients through a nutrition plan that dramatically reduce or completely eliminate their symptoms. I’ll touch on highlights of that plan, but first a few words on the individual conditions.

    Types of Allergies
    During an allergic reaction, your immune system is doing its job, but it’s overreacting. Typically, allergic individuals have developed an excess of the antibody IgE when exposed to a certain allergen. This ultimately results in the release of histamines and leukotrienes, causing the annoying allergy symptoms.

    Thirty percent of all adults and 40 percent of children suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, which is characterized by nasal congestion and itchy eyes. Alternatively, or additionally, an allergic reaction can involve rashes and other skin conditions and, in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock. Reactions can occur due to allergen exposure via inhalation, injection, ingestion, or through skin contact. The symptoms can be very diverse, but usually involve the nose, eyes, lungs, and skin.

    If you have a diagnosed allergy, you’ve probably heard it categorized as an inhalant, infectious (gets worse when you’re sick), insect, drug, physical agent (such as cold, heat, or exercise), contact, or food allergy. A food allergy is different from a food sensitivity; the allergy is usually severe and causes a very noticeable reaction. Both the allergy and the sensitivity can respond well to complementary treatments though.

    Understanding Asthma
    Characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing, asthma involves the combined effects of inflammation and muscle dysfunction in the airway. The inflammation cascade creates mucus, which worsens the obstruction, resulting in more inflammation—resulting in a vicious cycle. Asthma can be allergy-induced, but it is not always an allergic condition. Regardless, it is related to allergies in that both are the result of an over-reactive inflammation process.

    Asthma can be mild (about 50 percent of cases) which may require medication only as needed, moderate (40 percent of cases) sometimes requiring daily medication, or severe which involves frequent daily symptoms that need to be controlled carefully through daily medication. Severe asthma is the most life-threatening, however, all types can result in a lifethreatening attack and ought to be taken seriously.

    In the past, people usually were diagnosed with asthma as children and so understood the condition well by the time they were adults. But, increasingly, there are more cases newly diagnosed in adults.

    Where is this all coming from?
    Chances are your physician has discussed allergens or key irritants that you need to avoid or manage to help prevent your allergy or asthma from flaring up. Triggers are wide-ranged and can include: aerosol, pollution, dander, certain medications, estrogen, extreme temperatures, dust mites, smoke, pollens, molds, sulfites, specific foods, heartburn, chemicals and strong emotions. Other less avoidable triggers include your own heredity, viruses, and exercise.

    Managing triggers can be exhausting. Ultimately, it doesn’t do anything to actually remedy your condition. The trigger isn’t really the cause either. The cause is an over-reaction in the immune response. Remember the earlier comment about gut health? Let’s come back to that concept.

    There are more than 250 species of yeast—they are found in almost every baked good and we eat them all the time. More than 150 of these species are harmless parasites in our bodies. We all have Candida in our bodies; it normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract, the mouth, and the vagina as a part of the normal flora in the body.

    The trouble begins when there is an overgrowth of Candida. It lacks chlorophyll and is not able to produce its own food, so it acts like a parasite. This is usually kept under control by probiotics, the friendly bacteria in the body. Probiotics use yeast as food. As long as there is a good balance of the two, there is no problem. Candida overgrowth can occur due to dietary issues, chemical exposure, stress, or antibiotic use— Candida is a fungus; antibiotics do not kill it, but they can kill probiotics.

    Similar factors can also cause a condition called leaky gut. Imagine the cells of the gut, lining the interior in a honeycomb pattern. With leaky gut, there are gaps in the honeycomb where cells have broken down. Poorly digested food particles, pathogens, and yeast can now pass through into the body. Candida may wander to other parts of the body where it should not be, such as the lungs and sinuses. It causes inflammation and can result in chronic stuffy nose, sinus headaches, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and even muscle aches.

    With patients who struggle with allergies and asthma, and those who test positive for more than 10 food sensitivities, I can almost always assume the presence of leaky gut and treat for it accordingly. A Healing Phase Diet, which permits the gut to totally mend itself and rules out sources of yeast and foods that feed yeast, will last three months as long as you keep to the requirements. Straying even a little can draw out the healing period to six months or more.

    Similar to other cleansing diets you may know about, the basics of this nutritional approach are a little more intensive and involve:

    Ruling out sugar in all its forms. These are food sources for yeast, which includes all syrups, honey, molasses, chemical sweeteners, and fruit. Tomatoes, commonly mistook as vegetables, are fruits that need to be avoided too. Sushi rice usually contains sugar to make it sticky. Skip the lunch meats and processed foods—almost all have sweeteners in them; read labels.

    Ruling out all yeast and fungus sources. Refrain from consuming mushrooms and yeast-containing baked goods (if it rises, it contains yeast). Avoid vinegar and condiments containing vinegar; try using olive oil and lemon or lime juice to make your own salad dressing. Avoid all fermented foods, alcohol, dairy products (especially cheeses), and smoked and processed meats.

    Opening your mind to all the things you CAN eat! Most of the foods you’re avoiding are ingredients in highly processed foods. You’ll find yourself cooking healthier wholefood meals by default once you rule out the ingredients that have been keeping you in a state of inflammation and Candida overgrowth. (See the article “What CAN I Eat?” on page 12 to learn more)

    Supplementing with multivitamins, natural anti-candida herbals, and probiotics. In my practice, I recommend Alphabetic as a multi and build my patients’ vitamin program from there. Grapeseed extract, Caprylic acid, and garlic are effective anti-candida supplements. For establishing healthy probiotics, I use Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics 12 PLUS, a vegetarian probiotic blend that has extensive research supporting it.

    Sometimes, major lifestyle changes like this seem overwhelming. But when compared to juggling medications and constantly avoiding triggers, most allergy and asthma sufferers are excited at the opportunity to breathe free naturally and bring their immune system back into a state of equilibrium. After the Healing Phase Diet it is also possible to go through a four-month careful reintroduction of many of the foods you’ve been avoiding.

    Dr. Fred Pescatore’s book, The Allergy and Asthma Cure provides in-depth description of the Healing Phase Diet and helpful recipes and menu plans. His book, Thin for Good, contains more cooking tips along with insight into the connection between yeast-overgrowth and weight management.